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Rob Barber makes his mark in front of home fans
IT WAS mission accomplished for Rob Barber as he claimed a win on his pro debut in front of a partisan home crowd with a ground & pound stoppage of dangerous Aaron Mckearney at Heat.
The 25-year-old from Southend said in the build-up to the fight he wanted to make use of his power on the floor in the pro ranks, and that’s exactly what he did as he forced a second round stoppage of Terror Squad man Mckearney, from East Ham.
“He was a good test so I’m very happy with the win,” said Barber, who fights out of the Elite gym in Rochford.
“He got me with a few good early shots and knees but I rode it out and waited for my moment and I took him down in the second round and used my strength to finish it.
“I had good support there and when I walked out and heard them shouting my name any nerves just went away and I knew it was time to put a show on.
“It all went as well as I could have hoped for and now I’m hoping to get another good opponent at the Heat show in December and hopefully there I’ll get the chance to show off my stand-up game too.”
Barber said he’d take three rest days after the fight and then resume his training and preparations with his team of John Hales, Harry Hales, Dan Whiston, Mark Cosh and Rhys Nunn, who also fought but lost in controversial circumstances Garon Park on Saturday night.
Nunn, 21, was scheduled to fight London’s Tom Pollard in a semi-pro bout but his late withdrawal meant he instead went up against Kevin Butress, a man 7kg heavier than him who took the fight at the last minute.
The former King John School pupil started well against the bigger man but he was disqualified at the end of the first round for illegal blows to the head while his opponent was on the floor, something that’s not allowed at semi-pro level.
Nunn’s Elite team-mate Barber said: “The ref had warned Rhys but afterwards he said he was just in the zone. We’d been training together with head shots on the ground in the build up and I think his natural instincts just took over. He’ll come back stronger for the experience.”
The headline fight saw Bellator veteran fighter Przemyslaw Mysiala claim a 52-second win over Dorset’s Lloyd Clarkson with a submission due to an arm-lock.
The crowd were also treated to another rapid win for 32-year-old newcomer Stephen Lambert, who followed up his 18 second debut victory in April with a 25-second descrtuction of Thomas Denham with strikes on Saturday night.
There were also impressive wins on the night for Fusion fighter Tom ‘K9’ Green, who stopped Italy’s Paolo Lamberto by ground & pound in the first round, and for Terror Squad duo Tommy ‘Titanium’ Gunn and Salih ‘The Ram Man’ Kulucan, who beat Scott Rogan and Andrea Colasingari, respectively.