THE honour of taking on Burnley’s Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club’s first bout of 2013 fell on “Big” Connor Shaw.
The 12-year-old boxed at The Cliffs Hotel, Blackpool against T. Finch (Manx Isle of Man ABC) in what was a thrilling affair in the shadow of the Tower.
The first round saw Shaw dominate, keeping centre, making great use of his long reaching lead hand, combining it with his rock-solid rear which penetrated the tight guard of Finch.
The second saw the Berkeley Estate pugilist reassert himself, waiting patiently before opening up with a combination of lefts and rights, while Finch succeeded in landing a couple of shots. Shaw had the wind in his sails at the end of the round - a lead upper cut followed by a straight right bloodied his foe’s nose, which started to take its toll on the hardy fellow.
The bell rang for the third and final round of this roller coaster contest, with both boxers giving it their all. Catching Finch with a corkscrewing upper cut, Shaw worked well, and although tiring in the latter seconds, he managed to withhold the pressure of his opponent.
Both boxers at the end were giving rousing applause from the knowledgeable crowd, awaiting the judges’ ringside verdict.
The smile was present when the Burnley brawler’s arm was raised with a majority verdict.
Also on the bill, Hameldon’s Micky Chippendale (15) narrowly lost to J. Weir (Leigh ABC) in a very hotly-contested decision. “Connor dug deep and really earned his win, giving him the perfect warm-up for his Championship bout” beamed club coach Nik Tucker. The popular Hargreaves Street club will see six of its hot prospects box in the next few weeks in the ABA Schoolboy Championships, all hoping to match the last few years success.
Anyone interested in taking up the noble art can contact the club via www.sandygateabc.com or their apple/android app.