By Joe Alborough
A Sheffield PhD student stepped into the ring for his first bout in 13 years at Ponds Forge on Friday.
Dressed head-to-toe in black, Konstantinos Lygdas battled Paul Orji from Brighton University in the men’s super-heavyweight final to decide who would be crowned BUCS National Champion for 2016.
The 30-year old, who is studying neurobiology at the University of Sheffield, had only recently re-taken up the sport after walking into Sheffield City Boxing Club last October to keep his fitness up.
“This is my first [fight] in 13 years. I had my last one when I was 17. When I stopped boxing it was just before I was going to university.
“Afterwards, I had some contact with the sport. I was training from time to time but not continuously such as now where I was preparing for this fight.”
Whilst at the boxing club, he was persuaded by trainer Brendan Warburton to enter into the BUCS championships and try his hand at some more competitive boxing.
Speaking on the day, Mr Warburton said: “We do both universities so we get a lot of students down at our gym. As soon as he walked through the door, I knew he had boxed somewhere before.”
“I think he came in for a bit of fitness and to keep his hand in at boxing and when he heard that there were university championships I asked him if he fancied it.”
The fight itself perhaps didn’t end with the result that Lygdas and the home crowd were hoping for, with the student, who is originally from Greece, losing out by unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds.
Orji came out of the traps quickly and from there it was then an uphill struggle for Lygdas as he tried to claw back the points he missed out on in the opening minutes.
After the fight, he said: “In the first round I was just trying to trace my opponent’s skills.
“Afterwards, I tried to press more in the second and third round because for the first, I was almost sure that I had lost it but apparently it was not enough.
“I think it was really close though. Although the decision was unanimous, I believe it was still close.”
Although still a student at the university, Lygdas ruled himself out of this year’s Varsity clash with Hallam.
“There are not that many super-heavyweights!” he said with a smile on his face.