Almost 20 years to the day since Newark Amateur Boxing Club was established on Castlegate, its first HOME SHOW of the season returned to Farndon Memorial Hall on Friday 9 September.
A huge success for the club, all the matches on the card were really competitive and, cheered on by the support of their sponsors, families and friends throughout the sell-out show, all the home boxers certainly raised their game.
In the first bout of the evening, 12-year-old Joel Cook was up against the taller Imad Khaled from Leicester Unity ABC. The aggressor throughout this contest, Joel landed some really hard and eye-catching shots on his opponent, pushing and pressing even more in the third and final round to take the win in what a lot of the people there thought was the home team’s performance of the night.
Up next for NABC was 12-year-old Oscar Locke, making his debut against another first-timer, South Derby Boxing Academy’s Rudy Taylor. This match up was a really close affair but after the final bell, the win deservedly went to Oscar, making it two for two for the home team.
Also making his debut for Newark ABC was 12-year-old Otis Pearson, up against Jimmy Honey from Halifax ABC. With his opponent having two previous contests on his record, it was a big ask for Otis and the bout was another nip and tuck affair but a strong finish in the final round saw Otis coming out on top with a split decision win.
Scheduled to box next, NABC’s 14-year-old Robert Price was let down literally moments before the weigh in, unfortunately left without an opponent as Tayte Daniel’s boxing card was not back.
So it was the turn of another 14-year-old home boxer, Patrick Rooney, who was up against Warley ABC’s Cory Robbins. Match maker Irvine Taylor did a great job here as this was a closely contested bout but Patrick edged the exchanges with some slick boxing and another Newark boxer from Suggy’s Gym got his hand raised.
The next bout of the evening featuring a home boxer saw 15-year-old Nathan Sanderson making his debut when he went up against a tough opponent in Cameron Marsh from Rushden & Higham CB. Although Nathan started well, with one previous bout on his record Cameron was quicker to settle, taking control and getting the win. But there was no doubt in the minds of Nathan’s coaches and corner men that he will be back and be able to turn this experience into a victory next time out.
Then it was the turn of NABC’s 16-year-old Leo Price, who got off to a good start as he dominated the first two rounds of his contest with Gabriel Nicola from the famous Ingle Gym in Sheffield. But Gabriel went on to take the third round, leaving Leo unlucky to lose the bout on a split decision.
After the break, the crowd at Farndon Memorial Hall was treated to an amazing performance in what was probably a contender for Fight of the Night when Newark ABC’s Shady Hardy went up against Hayden Lloyd from Touch Gloves ABC. Shady used his speed and movement to control the contest and, after a toe-to-toe exchange from start to finish in the last round, all three judges declared him the winner on points.
Up next was 16-year-old Mantana Price, looking to show improvements in his Junior contest against Daine Weston from Heart of England. With only one loss on his record, Daine struggled to deal with Mantana’s range, distance control and intelligent pressure which saw the home boxer winning the first two rounds. Told to put his opponent under pressure in the third and final round, after two standing 8 counts Mantana forced the stoppage, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Walking out into the ring next was firm favourite and local Farndon lad, 16-year-old Sam Hardy who was up against Muhammad Nasir from Longsight BC in Manchester. After two closely fought rounds, Sam went toe-to-toe in the third and although he picked up a little graze across his eye, this added to the excitement and made for a thrilling end to this highly skilled bout between two really experienced juniors.
In the last few seconds of the contest, Sam rocked his opponent as he switched stance, catching Muhammad with an uppercut on the back foot just as the final bell signalled the end of an explosive and closely contested bout which rightly saw Sam declared as the winner.
Looking for his first win, next up was 16-year-old Hope Price and with great skills, organised boxing and pressure he definitely did not disappoint. His opponent Logan Miller from Touch Gloves ABC was simply unable to cope with Hope’s speed and, after three hard fought rounds, it was another great result for the home team when Hope took a solid points win.
Also 16-years-old, Harrison Dickson was unfortunate to lose to Mohammed Ajun Khan from Saifs Boxing & Fitness on a split decision but as always the NABC boxer decided that the loss would be an invaluable lesson and promised to come back stronger.
Next in the ring was 19-year-old home fighter Daniel Radford, up against Touch Gloves ABC’s Riley Church. Although Daniel started really quickly and took control, Riley got himself back to into the contest and grew in confidence. As the bout progressed there was only going to be one winner but Daniel kept trying and will learn from this defeat.
Last but by no means least for Newark ABC was Jack Cox who was making his debut against Abdalchaffe Adam, another debutant from Leicester Railwaymens ABC. Although his opponent was strong and game, Jack had his measure with speed and technique, really listened to his corner men and landed some big blows, giving Abdalchaffe an 8 count.
At the end of what was without doubt a great debut and an equally great contest, his opponent was very unsteady on his legs and Jack was declared the unanimous winner, ending the show on a high for the home fighters and their fans alike.
Speaking after the event, Suggy’s Gym’s head coach Dean Sugden said: “For me it was great to see how strong our team of coaches, several of whom are Level 2 and four of whom are Level 1, is and how strong our young boxers are too.
“At no point during the show did I think we’d bitten off more that we could chew. With 14 of our boxers initially on the card, down to 13 on the night, we came away with nine wins, showing that Newark Amateur Boxing is going from strength to strength.
“What better way could there possibly be to celebrate our 20th anniversary here at Suggy’s Gym, 49 Castlegate in Newark?”
Fight photos below by Rob Currell