Home Show 2 puts Newark’s amateur boxers to the test

Pictures by Gary Orgles, Go Photography – to see the full collection of photos from the show, click here

Enthusiastic fans raised the roof of Farndon Memorial Hall on Saturday 23 June, when eight young fighters from Newark Amateur Boxing Club lined up for the action-packed card of The NABC Home Show 2.

It was a mixed night in terms of results and, with some last-minute pull outs due to illness and a clash with the Haringey Box Cup, at one stage it was touch and go as to whether the event would go ahead.

“In 18 years of promoting events in Newark, this was the most challenging one yet,” said Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden. “But a great team effort by everyone saved the show and, with  the exception of Adam Robb, all of the home boxers got a run out and put on some incredible performances in a series of extremely close contests.

“We were all gutted for Adam as he has shown some big improvements since the first Home Show in February and we were looking forward to him having the opportunity to showcase that to his home crowd.”

Starting the show for NABC was Deivids Paulauskas, up against Shahroz Raja from Peterborough Police Boxing Club. Although this was a skills bout with no decision, Deivids went about his boxing like a seasoned professional, taking control and showing great defensive and offensive movements.

Next in the ring was the heavily supported Alfie Briggs-Price, who showed not only big improvements in his head movement and defence but was in absolute control of the bout from start to finish with some impressive boxing. He worked brilliantly to the head and body and was rewarded with a unanimous points win over Bobby Dixon from Grantham ABC.

When his scheduled opponent pulled out on the day, NABC’s Minors National Champion Sam Hardy had to settle for what turned out to be a great skills bout. With Sam boxing the highly rated Alfie Baker from Peterborough Police ABC, his opponent in the final of the Championships, this was an opportunity for both youngsters to show how they had improved since their match up in May, without the pressure of winning or losing.

Although Alfie was definitely a better version, Sam was on fire, going up through the gears in all three rounds and firing in some very fast combinations to body and head. Alfie tried to take the last 10 seconds of every round but Sam boxed clever, matching him every step of the way, and both made it clear they have a very bright future in which they are are sure to meet again.

Despite giving away experience to a strong and slick opponent, Mac O’Brian showed great courage and resolve to stay with Evan Clarke-Roberts of Rainworth & Blidworth ABC all the way to the final bell.

“This was our first loss of the evening but two things you can’t teach are heart and a good chin,” said Dean. “This young man proved he has both in abundance and choosing a real bout instead of a skills bout he could easily have walked away with Boxer of the Night,” said Dean.

Louis Clark produced the best display of his boxing career so far against Ethan Morledge from Aldercar & Langley Mill, using some really slick movement and counter punches to frustrate his more experienced opponent. After three closely fought rounds, the Newark camp thought Louis would get his hand raised but although it went the other way, it was quite clear that the Newark boxer had proved he can hang at this level.

Back as a senior after a short career as a junior amateur boxer, Luke Baker took it to his heavier and taller opponent Artur Tomasevic from Peterborough Police BC. In spite of nearly 6kg difference between them, Luke looked the part as he landed some good body and head shots but, after a close first round, an explosive exchange of punches and an unfortunate clash of heads caused a cut.

Although the Newark corner was ready to treat it, the decision was taken out of their hands and, with only five seconds to go in the second round, after advice from the ringside doctor on the cut the referee stopped the contest.

The frustrations continued for Newark ABC as Jade Grierson took on Storm Steele from Spire Boxing Academy for the vacant East Midlands 69-75kg Challenge Belt.

Jade went up in weight to take the contest but at times boxed to Storm’s strengths, opting to fight rather than box. Looking to have the better movement, after a slow first round she took control in the second and third but, to the disappointment of the crowd, the MC announced a split decision at the final bell, with two of the judges giving the first two rounds to her opponent.

“Jade has been away from combat sports for nine years and, since her return, we’ve put her in with some of the best boxers in the country,” said Dean. “Although she’s still not performing to her best, she’s improving with every fight and is definitely not one to shy away from a challenge.

“She’s already in a league above any of the local professionals and I’m confident she has what it takes to go to the very top in women’s boxing.”

Originally scheduled to fight at the halfway point of the card, Megan Williams had to wait until the end of the night to take her place in the ring after Georgia Klein of Manor Boxing Academy was delayed getting to the venue.

But the ensuing master class was well worth the wait, with Megan taking control from the outset against an opponent who had defeated her on a previous occasion. With 20 bouts to her name, Georgia was confident but Megan was first and fast, using her boxing skills and ringcraft to win all three rounds on the three judges’ score cards and coming away with not only a unanimous win but also the trophy for Boxer of the Night.

“There was a great atmosphere throughout the evening with family, friends and fans turning out in force to support their local boxers and we ended the night on a high,” said Dean. “Unfortunately, some close decisions didn’t go our way but it just proves that, even when it’s your own show, sometimes you simply don’t get the rub of the green.”

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