Hat-trick of North West titles for Sandygate ABC

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BURNLEY’S Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club returned to The Boxing School of Excellence, Gorton, Manchester at the weekend in search of its first titles of 2013.

First up on the Saturday was Charlie “Chaos” Smith (11), facing unbeaten S. Burton (Egan’s ABC) for the ABA Minors North West 42kg honours. Straight from the opening bell Smith set out his stall of pure full-on aggression, hitting Burton with a heavy rear hand to the head.

The onslaught was constant throughout the round, keeping a tight guard and boxing on the front foot, scoring with cracking switches of attack, with the bewildered Mancunian ending the round knowing this was not going to be a easy session.

The second saw the Blessed Trinity Year 7 pupil keep up the impressive work rate, with the referee keeping a close eye on the proceedings as blood was now showing from Burton’s nose after one particular volley of shots.

The third and final showed just how fit and strong Harle Syke’s Smith is, as once again he came off the stool and put in a show of strength, scoring at will, countering all returns, keeping total dominance of the ring.

It was no surprise when the Sandygate fighter’s hand was raised with a unanimous decision.

“Big” Connor Shaw (12) was up next for the ABA North West Schoolboy 48kg title against S. Strong (Bredbury and Stockport ABC).

Both boys took a measured approach. Throwing a combination of lead and rear hand straights, Shaw kept trying to penetrate Strong’s high guard. Strong countered well but Shaw also covered up well, and the round ended even.

The second round saw Shaw come out with a plan, countering the counter, but an increase of work rate ensured Strong stayed on the back foot throughout as Berkeley Estate’s Shaw started to take control.

The third was young Connor’s best, as, sensing the closeness of the scoring, he threw everything into it, hunting down Strong from centre, keeping a tight guard and leading off the jab, which served him well.

Shaw’s hand was lofted as the victor, making it a perfect start to the Burnley club’s championship campaign.

The big boys were out for the following day’s competition, as well as a few famous boxers within the crowd - current English lightweight champion Anthony Crolla and former European champion Jamie Moore to name just a few.

Hoping to follow Sandygate’s perfect start was Brett “Wrekin” Windle (14, pictured) boxing for the ABA North West Schoolboy 50kg crown verses M. Patel (Larches and Savik ABC), and, not to be outdone, Windle came out at the opening bell determined and aggressive catching Patel in the first exchange, forcing his taller foe onto the ropes.

Brett opened up a barrage of blows, slipping and ducking every return, scoring at will, and after one such onslaught, the referee stopped proceedings and administered a standing eight count to the relieved Patel. Allowing the bout to continue, Windle stepped up to finish the job, only for the sound of the bell finishing the round.

The second saw Preston’s Patel come out with one intention, to keep moving, keep a tight guard and try and use his reach advantage, which he managed to carry out until the Shuttleworth Year 10 pupil’s relentless style broke the canny defences, raking up the points. It became a one-sided affair, and the final two-minute round again saw Patel looking to survive, tying up Brett, which only amounted in the Rosegrove pugilist moving to connect with the body. Once again the man-in-the-middle had to stop the contest and give another count after a cracking combination of body to head power shots had Patel reeling back. Windle went out for the stoppage but once again the distinct sound of the bell spoilled a grand finale. A unanimous verdict was reached by the judges in favour of this very impressive prospect from Burnley.

William Smith (14) narrowly lost out against the vastly experienced G. Lowe (Lancaster ABC) in the ABA 57kg Schoolboy final.