With 14 young boxers aged between 10 and 20 about to represent Newark Amateur Boxing Club on its latest Home Show, the sell-out crowd of sponsors, friends, families and fans gathered at Farndon Memorial Hall was in no doubt that Friday 9 December was going to be another action-packed evening.
And the event certainly lived up to everyone’s expectations, with no fewer than 10 wins for the Newark youngsters, along with two first class Skills Contests which got things off to a great start.
“As always, things started bang on time and the packed crowd loved every single second of the event,” said Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden. “The atmosphere was great and Farndon Hall was rocking all evening as our young boxers demonstrated some amazing skills against opponents from some of the best clubs across the country.”
The action began with the first of the two Skills Bouts, in which 10-year-old Leon Jordan was up against Team ShoeBox’s Jim Doran, also aged 10. Despite the fact that there are no decisions in these bouts, Leon demonstrated a very high level of skill and control as he dominated his opponent at times throughout the three one-minute rounds.
Then it was the turn of Harrison Gent, another 10-year-old from Newark ABC, in the second Skills Bout against Corby ABC’s 11-year-old Lennon Miller. Despite the fact that Harrison got rushed at by his slightly bigger opponent at times and was warned early on for heavy contact, he quickly settled down to produce another brilliant and skilful display.
“This was the last skills bout of the evening but both of them really set the tone for the night to come as all four boxers showed great skill and composure out there in the ring,” said Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden.
Next up it was the turn of Joel Cook, aged 13 but staying in the Schools category, who was dominant again as he went on to win by split decision against Harrison Skerritt from Braunstone Golden Gloves.
In the fourth bout of the evening, boxing in his fifth contest but making his debut for Newark ABC, 13-year-old Charlie Booth treated the crowd to a really fast and furious contest against Almond Boxing Academy’s James Dean Harty, dominating the first two rounds with fast hands and constant pressure. And although James did come back in the third, it was Charlie’s hand that was raised, another split decision but, like Joel, another clear winner for NABC.
Next in the ring for Newark ABC was 12-year-old Otis Pearson, taking on Swinton ABC’s Danny Smith, at 13 a year older than Otis who only just weighed in within the limiting weight difference between the two boxers. Despite both the age and weight difference, the Newarker took control but did not dominate and as result the three rounds ended in the home team’s first loss of the evening by way of a unanimous points win for Danny.
Then it was the turn of 13-year-old James Jordan, like Otis from the new Suthers School in Fernwood, who went up against the Braunstone Golden Gloves 14-year-old Thayne Morton. James boxed really well in this one and his coaches and supporters alike were delighted to see him back to winning ways on Friday night when he was declared the winner by a split decision.
There was another debut for Newark ABC when 14-year-old John Lewis Fury stepped into the ring to take on Ripley School of Boxing’s William Barr, also aged 14, in the first Junior contest of the evening.
The Newark boxer dominated the first round, with fast and accurate punches to his opponent’s head which led to the referee stepping in and giving William a standing 8 count. At the end of the round, John Lewis listened well to his cornermen’s instructions and went on to deliver an array of punches followed by an accurate body shot in round two which forced his opponent to take a knee and the ref quite rightly stepped in to wave it all off, giving the win to John Lewis by RSC.
After a 30-minute interval, the action began again as Newark’s 17-year-old Shady Hardy and Phoenix ABC’s Owen Lack stepped into the ring for their Junior contest. From the outset, Shady put on a dominant display of intelligent pressure, preventing his opponent from getting into the contest at all, and achieving a unanimous for the home team.
Looking for his first win for NABC, 16-year-old Leo Price was up next against Trinity ABC’s Brad Allaway but after another exciting contest, he was really unlucky not to get his hand raised when a split decision win for Brad was declared.
Then it was time for NABC’s most experienced boxer, 16-year-old Sam Hardy, to take on the equally experienced Neo Judge, another 16-year-old who had travelled all the way from Devon for their contest.
After a nip and tuck first round, Sam landed some slick and heavy punches to the body and head of his Torbay Amateur Boxing Club opponent and, as Neo walked on to a perfectly timed uppercut from Sam, he was given a standing 8 count by the ref.
In round three, Sam continued to dominate the bout, landing yet more heavy and eye-catching body and head shots. Despite giving Neo another count, the ref quite rightly allowed him to continue as both boxers were very experienced but, after three hard-fought rounds, there was only ever going to be one winner and all three judges awarded a unanimous decision win for Farndon’s very own Sam Hardy.
And despite the fact that his opponent Mitchell Freelly from Trinity ABC never stopped trying in what was a hard-fought contest, after three rounds Newark’s 16-year-old Hope Price was declared the winner by another unanimous points decision.
There was more of the same when 15-year-old Teddy Tooley made his debut for the home team against Mercia Boxing Club’s Leo Gregory, also 15, in the heavyweight division. Teddy dominated the first two rounds of the contest, with a beautiful jab and distance control, although when Leo came out looking composed and comfortable in round three, Teddy had to up his game just to stay in charge. But it was a great debut for Teddy, making waves in his first contest and coming away with a unanimous points win.
The penultimate bout of the evening saw two 17-year-olds, NABC’s Harrison Dickson and Bridlington CYP’s Coby Scotter, in a three by two-minute round Youth contest. With both boxers having success in what was a really close bout which went back and forth over all three rounds, there was more delight for the home crowd when Harrison came out on top with a win by split decision on points.
And finally, bringing an action-packed evening to an end, in the last bout Newark Senior Daniel Radford returned to winning ways when he defeated the tricky Jamaal Khan from Nottingham City ABC with a split decision points win.
“What a fantastic night it was for our club, despite the fact that there were three last-minute pull-outs on the day which meant there was no boxing for Robert Price, Paddy Rooney and Alfie Briggs-Price,” said Dean.
“They’d all been training really hard and we couldn’t have tried any harder to find substitutes at the last minute. But all three of them turned up on the night and I have to thank not only them for doing so but everyone else for their support both before and on the night itself.
“Without match-maker Irvine Taylor, my wife Karen’s support behind the scenes and June Rowlands keeping our websites up to date and getting out all the media releases, along with the great work done on the night by my sons Chad and Bailey and by Megan and Steve Williams and Sid Yeomans, who all played a major role in the smooth running of the event, not only would we have been unable to put on such a great show but we certainly wouldn’t have had the success we enjoyed on Friday night.
“To have 10 wins, two losses and two great displays of skills on our latest Home Show was a fantastic reward for all the hard work put in by everyone, with all the youngsters going all out to make the Suggy’s Gym team proud, and the perfect way to end what has been a very successful year for many of our amateur boxers.
“We’re already looking forward to more of the same in the weeks and months to come, not only on our own shows but on the many appearances lined up on a number of England Boxing championship bouts too.
“Here at 49 Castlegate, Newark Amateur Boxing Club welcomes clients both new and old to come and train with us, whether it’s for fun, fitness or competition. Two of the main advantages of joining a boxing gym are the stress relief and benefits to mental health doing so offers and we’re confident that what they’ve seen in person or online will inspire other youngsters to think about joining us at Suggy’s Gym…
“All they need to do is head over to https://suggysgym.clubright.co.uk/register to find out how to sign up and get started!”