Burnley fight night makes a return

FIGHT NIGHT: Joe Knight
FIGHT NIGHT: Joe Knight

BURNLEY’S Thursday Fight Night returned as Rosegrove Unity Working Men’s Club played host to Sandygate’s first show of 2013 in a 300-ticket sell out.

Opening the proceedings was Dylan “Deadly” Lord (10) in a bout of skill against Bury’s D. Mawdsley (Dynamics ABC). Lord had the better of the opening exchanges, working well off a strong lead jab. The second saw Mawdsley increase his work rate, testing Lord’s defence.

FIGHT NIGHT: Sam Larkin

FIGHT NIGHT: Sam Larkin

The final round was a blistering affair, with the boys displaying all their skills in this non-decision affair.

Cameron “Hurricane” Hird (11) was next up, facing J. Shaw. Straight from the off, Hird showed his dominance, controlling the centre of the ring and catching Shaw with relative ease. The second and third were much like the first, as the Rose Hill boxer took full control and delivered a very one-sided display.

The last skills bout saw the extremely popular “Smokin’” Joe Crawford (10) enter the room to the night’s biggest roar, as he was pitted against Yorkshire’s L. Steel (Platinum ABC). Crawford started strongly, moving well and making good use of his combinations. In the second, Crawford showed off his countering skills, keeping it tight and punching through his opponent’s defences. The third round saw both boys give it their all, earning a large ovation from the crowd at the bell.

Reagan “Jock” Driver (13) narrowly lost a majority verdict against A. Fiaz (Northside ABC), with the Mancunian boxer being that little bit busier.

Brandon “Bam-Bam” Collins (14) was also at the wrong end of a majority decision in what was a promising debut.

Hoping to get the Hargreaves Club back to winning ways was Charlie Martin (15) in the show’s title bout. Martin was challenging for the North West Regional ABA Junior Championship Class 4 Belt at 70-75kg, against champion J. McGovern (St John’s ABC) over three two -minute rounds.

The first was a cagey affair, with both boys feeling each other out, not wishing to get caught with any heavy handed shots.

McGovern was the more active of the two, although his punches were only catching the gloves of Martin, who stuck to his game plan of boxing and not getting involved in a brawl, racking up the points with clearer punches.

The second saw Martin up the work rate while still keeping a sensible approach, using pinpoint accuracy to hit McGovern with some crisp combinations. The third and final round saw Martin dominate, as he connected with several flurries to the champion’s head and body with his long reach.

It was no surprise when Martin was announced the winner as McGovern simply had no way of stopping his momentum.

Sam “Kit-Man” Larkin (22) graced the canvas next against B. Adamson (Platinum ABC) in what was a cracking contest from the opening bell. Larkin took the middle of the ring, and a powerful combination seemed to open the defences of his Yorkshire opponent.

The second round saw Larkin keep up the pace as he switched up from Adamson’s head to body. Larkin dominated the third, forcing Adamson from corner to corner as he eased to a comprehensive victory.

Accrington Road’s Calum “Two-Tone” Rainey (16) lost out to E. Irvine (Sharples ABC) in a closely-fought contest which could have gone either way.

The final bout of the evening and main event saw North West ABA Senior Finalist Joe “Silent” Knight (19) box the solid P. Salazor (Northside ABC).

Knight started brightly and his class was apparent as he rolled under Salazor’s advances and connected with scoring blows before retreating.

The second and third rounds demonstrated why Knight is so highly thought of in boxing circles as he dominated Salazor as he secured a unanimous victory, in what was a perfect warm-up bout before the ABAs.

Sandygate coach Nik Tucker was delightedd: “Little Joe collected the minors’ best bout of the night award after really impressing all at the club, and it was tough call between all the schoolboys who boxed.”

His sentiments were echoed by fellow coach Andy Howcroft: “Charlie Martin really deserved his championship belt after sticking to our game plan to the letter, boxing with great maturity and control. As for Knighty, it was a great warm-up bout for the ABAs on the 8th.”

The club would like to thank all at Rosegrove Unity WMC and all volunteers for helping put on a memorable show.

Anyone interested in taking up the sport can contact the club via www.sandygateabc.com or from their apple/android app.