SANDYGATE’S Joe “Silent” Knight made it a night to remember in the Senior ABA North West Finals at The Boxing School of Excellence Gorton, Manchester.
The 20-year-old took on hot favourite Zefa Barratt (Collyhurst and Moston ABC) for the 60kg Lightweight title.
Straight from the opening bell Knight kept a tight guard and centre ring, wasting no punches and leading with his perfect lead hand jab, frustrating Barratt with his accuracy before covering any returning counters.
The second round was Knight’s finest, upping his work rate but still maintaining his impressive stance.
Knight started to rack up the points, displaying his full arsenal of punches including a exquisite lead hand screw shot rear hand combination, along with a rolling lead hand hook to the body/rear hand straight to the head, with every shot hitting the target.
Barratt who is trained by his uncle, former European and British lightwelterweight champion Pat Barratt, couldn’t get near to the impressive Sandygate boxer, only really scoring the odd hook to the body thrown with menace, but Knight’s durability to taking a body shot was never in doubt.
The third and final round saw Barratt, sensing defeat, throw all caution to the wind, but to little effect as Knight kept his composure and game plan together, and it was no surprise at the final bell when the Burnley-based prospect’s hand was raised with a unanimous verdict from all five judges ringside.
Not to be outdone by one of the seniors, “Smokin’” Joe Crawford (10) showed the popular Hargreaves Club’s future is just as bright when the Wellfield Primary School Year 6 pupil graced the ring in a bout of skill against J. Scott (Bredbury and Stockport ABC) at St John’s, Salford.
The hot prospect displayed great footwork and ring craft, dominating against a durable foe.
Padiham’s Brandon Hartley (16) was on the end of a very confusing majority verdict against J. Cookson (Haywood ABC).
The club has no time to rest as Knight now faces the ABA Yorkshire Senior champion Keiran Devenish (Kellys ABC) in the National Pre-Quarter-Final at Gorton on Sunday, and also in Championship action, North West Minors champion Charlie Smith (11) makes the long trip to Newcastle to face D. Toward (Birtley ABC) in the National Minors Semi-Finals tomorrow.