Almost two years to the day since Newark Amateur Boxing Club, based at Suggy’s Gym on Castlegate, hosted its last Home Show at Farndon Memorial Hall, nine young local boxers were back in the ring there on Friday 19 November.
With tickets sold out two weeks ahead of the night, their families, friends and fans were treated to an action-packed evening which kicked off with a classic back and forth contest between NABC’s James Jordan and Harvey Sallimino from Hebden Bridge.
Giving away a little weight, James put his boxing skills to good use but, matched in the physicality department on this occasion, he was unlucky not to get the win in a bout which ended with the home club on the wrong side of a split decision.
“Although James didn’t get the result we thought he deserved, I’m confident he will learn a lot from this contest,” said Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden. “There’s no doubt in my mind he will be able to develop his boxing game further and will be ready for the next time he comes up against a strong and physical opponent in the ring.”
Up next for Newark ABC, Joel Cook went head to head with the skilful and very confident Logan Briggs from Ashfield School of Boxing.
“This one turned out to be the aggressor versus the slick puncher, as Joel pressed forward trying to catch the slippery Logan, who was happy to stay on the outside,” said Dean.
“The first round was very close but, as the second and third progressed, Joel made some adjustments to take the win and we were moving in the right direction after the first two contests, with one close defeat and one victory.”
The third bout of the night saw two-time National Champion, 2021 National Finalist and MTK Box Cup Gold Medalist Sam Hardy back in action for his club.
“We always struggle to match Sam with other English boxers and this time we had to go international, crossing the border into Scotland to bring in Leo Church from Clydebank’s Antonine Boxing Club.
“The current Scottish Champion and another MTK Box Cup winner, Leo had more wins than Sam and only a few losses so we knew this one was set to be an absolute cracker. And it didn’t disappoint, with Sam getting straight off the mark with fast hand combos that seemed to confuse his opponent.
“The second round saw more of the same and as Sam switched to southpaw, he landed a perfect punch to floor Leo, who was given an eight count by the ref after Sam was sent to the neutral corner.
“Round three saw Sam and Leo meet in the centre of the ring where, to the delight of the packed crowd, they traded big punches which left them both bloodied and bruised when the final bell rang.
“There was no doubt in our minds about the result of this one, especially after the eight count and such a dominant performance from Sam who, as the crowd went wild, was declared the winner by a unanimous decision.”
Heading into the first Challenge Belt contest, there was a definite buzz in the hall as Newark’s Alfie Briggs Price took on Deivids Paulauskas from Epic Golden Gloves in a real local derby.
With nothing between the two at the end of three rounds, the judges declared a split decision but unfortunately for Newark ABC this went to Deivids. “Given how close it was and how disappointed Alfie was with the decision, he asked for an immediate rematch and challenged Deivids via the official channels – now we wait for an equally exciting second time round that’s definitely not to be missed,” said Dean.
After the break, it was time for three Newark ABC boxers to make their debuts. Despite giving away weight, Hope Price and Liam Gaskin boxed brilliantly and at times lit up their opponents with accurate and fast hands but the physicality was too much for the two boys who both lost on points.
“I’m absolutely sure these two, along with Daniel Radford who won on points after giving his opponent Charlie Clarke from Wolverine ABC an eight count, have a really bright future,” commented Dean.
With only two Newark boxers left to walk out into the ring, NABC needed two wins and both Megan Williams and Mikey Lindsay stepped up to ensure that was exactly what they achieved for the home club.
Boxing for the first time in over two years, Megan produced a stunning performance against the undefeated Nila Rochester from Nottingham’s Jawaid Khaliq Boxing Academy.
Despite the fact that her opponent never gave up and tried to land some big shots, Megan dominated the match with her superior ringcraft and shot selection, looking extremely impressive over all three rounds and taking the win on points.
With four wins and four losses for the home team as the final bout was announced, the crowd was going really wild for the Main Event of the evening.
“Everyone loves seeing Heavyweights in action and Farndon was treated to two Super Heavyweights on Friday, when our own Elite East Midlands Challenge Belt Champion Mikey Lindsay defended his title against Billy Glover from Derbyshire’s Royal Oak ABC, an opponent with as many wins on his record as Mikey had fights.
“Although the noise continued throughout the bout, Billy’s large and very vocal crowd was silenced by Mikey’s work in the opening round and, as he produced one of his best performances to date against a very tough and experienced opponent, the home crowd raised the roof in support of Mikey.”
Strong, fast and in the best condition of his life, the Newark boxer worked effectively on the outside and when Billy had to get inside, Mikey worked equally well, dominating the close work too, making it a tough night for Billy and looking really relaxed as he landed body and head shots.
“To his credit, Billy kept on coming but in what was an extremely exciting bout Mikey kept delivering, with his intelligent pressure in the third round forcing an eight count on his opponent who just couldn’t keep the Newark boxer at bay,” said Dean.
“We had no doubt in our minds about the decision as the bout came to an end and not surprisingly everyone in the home crowd was up on their feet when the MC announced a unanimous decision in favour of Mikey, who leapt into the air to celebrate his victory and the successful defence of his Elite Super Heavyweight Championship.
“Although we were unlucky not to get our hands raised in a few of the bouts, all in all it was a great night for Newark ABC and Suggy’s Gym, a true team effort and a fantastic way to celebrate the long-awaited return of the Home Show.”