Burnley’s Sandygate Amateur Boxing Clubs seniors graced the squared canvas in Accrington recently.
Light-welterweight Joe “Silent” Knight (19) was matched up against Blackburn’s B. Riddell (Fit-2XL ABC) for the second time this month, with the Burnley-based hot prospect looking to come out the victor once more in this battle of the boroughs.
Straight from the bell Knight (pictured) came out with a much more focused and confidant manner, slipping, weaving and bobbing, catching Riddell with a exquisite left hook rear hand combo on more than one occasion. Knight seemed to be enjoying the fistic fare with a flawless first. The second and third two-minute rounds were a showcase for the Sandygate man’s skills with him dominating. Once more combinations flowed with switching two phase attacks attracting all the judge eyes. It was to be Knight’s day when, to no one’s surprise, his hand was raised at the end to make it Burnley 2, Blackburn 0 with an unanimous verdict.
Next up for the ever-popular Hargreaves Street stable was middleweight Lee “Wings” O’Hara (24) pitted against Manchester’s L. Birch (Middleton ABC). O’Hara, a former paratrooper and army squad boxer showed a clinical, disciplined display of the noble art against his well-supported opponent, cutting the ring down in the first leaving Birch to stay on the back foot, keeping to a classic style of lead and rear long range punching. O’Hara scored well, seemingly weighing his foe up. With the second round bell still ringing in the ears of the crowd, O’Hara launched a precise and penetrating attack, catching Birch with a heavy left hook which seemed to propel him back towards the ropes.
O’Hara carried on the onslaught until Irish International referee Danny Coppinger stepped in to administer a standing eight count to the Mancunian pugilist, allowing the bout to continue.
O’Hara sensed the stoppage and he wasn’t to disappoint with a blistering barrage which seemed to hit the mark every time.
The man-in-the-middle had seen enough, calling a end to the bout in favour of Sandygate’s O’Hara. “Knight looked even better this week against Riddell who is no mug, and O’Hara had that glint his eye.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from the two boys,” stated club coach Andy Howcroft. With four juniors making their way up to Carlisle tonight, Sandygate is keeping its fighters as busy as ever, and anyone interested in donning the gloves can contact the club via their website www.sandygateabc.com