BURNLEY boxer Lee Bennett took out the frustrations of the last 18 months to win what has been billed one the best small-hall fights of the year.
Various complications - injuries, change in management and fights being cancelled - have put Bennett’s career on hold after a promising professional debut, where he beat Joe Smith on points.
But the 26-year-old returned with real vigour at The Muni in Colne on Friday night against Andrew Patterson, who he was originally slated to fight in September last year.
He took a unanimous decision after winning all four rounds against the Birmingham fighter, and was thrilled afterwards: “Everything has been on hold for one thing and another, and I was desperate to get a fight in this year.
“I threw everything into it. I’ve focussed so hard on this, taken all the knocks and I’m just looking forward to next year now.”
Bennett was wary of Patterson, who, despite his loss record, also has four knockouts to his name: “I knew he was no pushover and was a tough fighter.
“But I won every round.
“I had to test myself, and I learned a lot from the fight.
“He was fast and aggressive, came forward and didn’t give me time to think, but I found my range and showed what I’m made of.
“Hopefully now I can enjoy Christmas, stay in shape and get back in the ring in February or March.”
Five-time World champion Jane Couch MBE interviewed Bennett after the fight, hailing the bout one of the small-hall fights of the year, and Lee said: “I was honoured by that - itr’s a big boost to keep doing well.”
A possibility down the line is an Irish title fight - with Lee boasting Irish ancestry from his grandfather’s side of the family.
Bennett would like to thank sponsors Koko’s, Durkin Premier Landscapes, Twenty Four Estates and Burnley Central Car Sales and his excellent supporters, who made themselves heard at The Muni!
Lee, who boxes out of Astley VIP, along with brother Wayne, also trains at Burnley Amateur Boxing Club, where father Graham is head coach.
Burnley ABC, on Albert Street, is open from 5-8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.
Anyone interested in training at the club can contact Graham on 07593332577.