When it comes to football, Munich is a city of red and blue. The red half of the city follow the mighty Bayern Munich and the blue, TSV 1860. It's the same colour combination in amateur boxing too.
On Saturday night at the Städttische Sport Hall in Sabener Strasse, just a stones throw away from the training ground where the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller spend their days developing their skills on the football pitch, London ABA came to take part in an annual boxing event hosted by the boxing club of TSV 1860.
The Anglo-German event was started four years ago by former Turkish boxing team-mates Ali Cukur and Ahmet Canbakis. Canbakis, who now runs Cranford ABC in Hounslow, London is a seven-time national champion of Turkey and a three-time Balkan champion who also fought professionally at super-middleweight. His counterpart, Ali Cukur is the head coach at TSV 1860 boxing club and has held the position for the past 18 years.
Back in 2011 the pair re-united by holding a boxing event between the two clubs they each now run.
Getting proceedings underway on Saturday was 16-year old Callum Myles facing Sina Golpira. Myles is a two-time London champion and he boxed well, giving every inch as good as he got. In a close contest the judges awarded the victory to Golpira.
Next up was 18-year old Mason Smith in a spectacular match against Hans Schöfer. Smith took control of the bout from the opening bell and landed the majority of power shots on an opponent 15 years his senior. Timing and movement were the key to victory as Smith secured the visitors their first win of the night to level the tie at one each.
Southpaw Chris Bourke was next, facing the dangerous Ramon Sharafa. Frustratingly for Bourke the match had more than it's fair share of clinching and the Balham fighter found it difficult to find a way inside his cagey opponent. In another very close contest the judges awarded the decision to Sharafa.
Bobby Woods took on Kian Golpira in fight number four and was also unlucky to not to get the decision. Golpira had a snappy jab but rarely got to land any meaningful punches. Woods' movement was slick and precise to frustrate Golpira into holding but still the judges seemed unimpressed with the defensive skills of the Englishman and the home fighter yet again received the nod.
The first knockout was delivered in bout five by London middleweight Jermaine Brown. Brown looked to be evenly matched with Abu Fela, both men tall in stature and with a good reach. However, when Brown sensed tiredness in his opponent he threw a devastating right hook that landed smack bang on the target, sending Fela to the canvas out cold.
With the score now standing at 2-3 to the home team, Charlie Harrison was sent into battle with the very skillful Howik Barsegjan, the star of the TSV 1860 squad. Barsegjan was cool and calculating and around 11-years Harrison's senior. Despite a rugged display from the Fitzroy Lodge fighter, it was not enough to convince the officials, who handed Barsegjan the win going into the interval.
First up after the break was Hamid Sediqy taking on Emre Cukur, son of 1860 team chief, Ali Cukur. Cukur showed some good footwork but was overpowered by Sediqy who cut the ring off expertly and controlled the fight well, forcing Cukur to swing wildly throughout the contest. The Dale Youth powerhouse stormed to victory in what turned out to be a one-sided fight.
Following on from Sediqy came another Dale Youth fighter, light heavyweight southpaw, Matthew Tinker. Tinker couldn't wait to get started on Gabriel Pempel, a Bavarian kickboxing champion and a tough customer to wear down. He did get a deserved win and that brought the scores level at 5-all.
Joe Bellamy was released into the ring in the penultimate match against Magomed Schachidov and enjoyed some success in the opening two rounds with his range finder southpaw jab and quick feet. Unfortunately though he was snipered by a powerful left hand to the body which took his breath and put him down on one knee. He did well to get up and continue but it lasted just a few moments longer before the referee ended the bout, Schachidov the victor and TSV back ahead by one.
It was up to heavyweight Johnathan Palata to attempt to rescue a draw for London ABA as he went face to face with Kenan Husovic. Palata was able to absorb the big punches delivered by Husovic but struggled to get his own shots to land on his mobile opponent. Husovic and TSV 1860 snatched the win and roared to victory.
By the end of a highly entertaining evening it was the fans who were the real winners with the event was once again deemed a massive success. Next year the reciprocal event will hosted by London ABA.
Check out Ringtone Boxing's YouTube coverage of the event here.