England international amateur boxer Joseph Crawford made the journey north to Cumbria on for his latest bout after being selected to represent his country against Scotland.
The bout was Crawford’s first since being inducted on to the England Boxing team last month and he was keen to impress.
The former GB silver medallist, who made the switch to Queensway ABC 18 months ago, was matched with highly touted Kyle Kerr boxing out of Forgewood ABC in Motherwell.
A one-time European bronze and Great Britain gold medalist, Kerr boasted a record of five Scottish titles and came into the bout fresh from claiming a silver medal in this years GB Championships held in Glasgow.
The opening bell saw both boxers take centre ring, both moving well while looking to create space and gauge range.
A fast feint and slip created an opportunity for Crawford who fired in a fast jab that rocked Kerr’s head back.
A flurry of punches from both boxers saw Crawford land a three punch combination to head and body finishing with a powerful right hand that caught Kerr flush on the chin forcing him to take hold.
Kerr started to box on the back foot, attempting to move in and out of range, but Crawford cut the ring off well, stepping from side-to-side with attacks from body to head, and found more success with his jab.
A quick one-two followed by a swift left hook reminded Crawford of the caliber of Kerr but, undaunted, Crawford finished the round strong once again, feinting and bringing Kerr on to a powerful right hand.
The pattern of the first round followed into the second with Crawford forcing Kerr on to the back foot, working well on the inside and from range.
A neat one-two from Kerr brought a swift reply from Crawford, dropping in a right hand to the body followed by a vicious hook to the head that sent Kerr onto the ropes.
The former Sandygate ABC fighter followed up with a stinging jab and screw shot to take the exchange.
As Kerr’s confidence began to wain and Crawford’s began to grow, the Burnley teenager’s ram rod jab started to create openings in his opponent’s guard, bringing the Scottish fighter’s hands up so Crawford could work his body.
With the round drawing to a close, a fast three punch combination from Crawford stamped his authority on the frame as the bell sounded.
Sensing he was behind Kerr came out strong to start the third and final round finding success with his jab and counters but Crawford kept his composure well, blocking shots with salutes from his tight guard.
Crawford was now dictating the pace and landing shots that were beginning to take their toll on Kerr, once again his jab proving the thorn in Kerr’s side as he struggled to find an answer to it.
A warning from the referee for holding added to Kerr’s woes and Crawford pressed forward again, setting up combinations from his jab and using his feet well to move in and out of range.
A strong exchange from both fighters midway through the round showed why they are both highly thought of in the junior division, but Crawford pursued Kerr relentlessly landing hooks and uppercuts that once again had the Scotsman holding on.
As the bell sounded for the end of the contest, both boxers embraced to a rapturous applause from the 600 strong crowd for a tremendous contest,
The referee brought the two boxers to the centre of the ring and the judges declared Crawford the winner by a unanimous decision.
Crawford will join up with the England squad later in the month for a training camp in Liverpool.