ROCHE ABA boxer Jack Steff was stopped in the third round of a quite incredible North West Area Final of the Senior ABAs in Manchester last Wednesday.
Facing Shannon and Ancoats member John Newell, who recently overcame highly-touted Preston boxer Kevin Fitzgerald, put his opponent on the canvas in the first and second rounds, but in the third, Steff walked onto a big shot from Newell, and was counted out.
Steff was so far in front, 5-1 ahead on the judges’ cards - he only needed to stay out of trouble, and coach Brian Roche said: “It was an amazing fight, and no-one could believe how it ended.
“Jack is a technical boxer and so strong - he looked too good for Newell, who is also a top quality fighter as well.
“But he was caught out of the blue, and that was that.
“It’s no disgrace to lose to Newell, but I believe Jack is the better fighter.”
Steff’s future could now lie in the professional game: “I’d like to see Jack go pro now, I think he will make a top boxer.”
Meanwhile, clubmate Owen Thomas illuminated Blackpool as he beat Steven Saville.
The 21-year-old maintained his 100% record with his fourth success in the amateur ranks at the Central Bar. The light-middleweight, fighting at 70kg, defeated his foe on points in a pulsating bout which was voted Fight of the Night.
Roche said: “Owen boxed an experienced lad who had eight wins from 12 contests. But I thought he was ready for the challenge and he definitely proved that.
“Owen is a really technical boxer but he’s a strong lad as well. It was a brilliant fight and a close contest which fully deserved to be fight of the night.
“It’s a cracking win for Owen against good opposition. He goes on to fight in Hartlepool on Tuesday.”