THREE of Burnley’s Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club boxers packed their fight bags and made the short distance west to attend Blackpool Kingscote ABC’s show in the shadow of the Tower at the Central Club.
First up for the club in their claret and blue kit was Gannow’s “Banger” Brett Windle (13), pitted against home fighter B. McGregor, who the Sandygate boxer had beaten previously.
The Shuttleworth Year 9 pupil was not fazed by the home support, and straight from the opening bell his rock-like jab and sand-shifting left hook made its mark, moving his foe to the corner for a barrage of body shots which shook the Tower and left his opponent wishing he was on the Pleasure Beach.
Windle kept the pressure throughout the first one-and-a-half minutes, making good use of his neat combinations.
The second saw young Brett use the ring well, keeping centre and countering with great effect, especially off his tight guard, with the taller McGregor’s efforts hitting gloves only. The third was a hectic affair with both young boys giving it their all. Judges ringside gave the verdict unanimously to Windle.
“Padiham Power Station” Brandon Hartley graced the canvas next, facing another Blackpool boxer K. Boothman, in a real crowd pleaser. The Acer’s Centre Year 10 pupil wasted no time in stamping his ticket on the bout using a greater reach advantage to great effect, scoring well of his roller-coaster right hand which comes at you from all angles. The second round saw Boothman push forward and try to control centre, but Hartley was having none of it, returning fire with ferocious lead, rear hand point scorers. In the final third, both young boxers wishing to illuminate the judges’ ringside scorecards, saw both pugilists pitching their last once of power, skill and determination, with Sandygate’s Hartley holding his own and Boothman giving bucket loads of effort to no avail, as ABA referee Wayne Heyward subsequently raised the hand of Brandon at the final bell. Last up was popular Burnley boxer Calum “Two-Tone” Rainey (15) looking to make it a hat-trick against “The Fighting Tangerines” J. Smith. The first round saw a well-measured mature display from the Accrington Road who boxed well on the back foot, scoring in range then making good use of his ring craft, avoiding getting involved in a scrap. Smith constantly pushed forward hoping to corner Rainey on the ropes, but with agile footwork Rainey turned and retaliated a rally then moved on.
The second round saw the Year 11 St Augustine’s RC pupil continue to dominate the ring scoring well with a accurate double jab, rear hand combination with regularity. The third and final two-minute round saw the durable Smith come out with both barrels loaded, but not to be outdone by his victorious stablemates, Rainey weathered the storm and unleashed a wave of strong lead hands directed straight at the target area. A unanimous verdict in favour of the Sandygate fighter gave the club a clean sweep on the night and for the week as Pendle’s Reece “The Rock” Jackson (12) made a trip south the previous night to face Stoke-on-Trent’s T. Sword (Hulton Abbey ABC), winning by majority in a cracking bout.
Coach Nik Tucker said: “Brett performed excellently, Brandon is still learning but is extremely strong, and Calum is improving all the time and was not fazed at all by a strong and well supported local lad.”
Anyone interested in taking up the noble art can contact Nik on 07855505719 or via their new website www.sandygateabc.com which also pays homage to the clubs other Burnley pugilist and Sandygate old-boys Warren Stowe and Blue Butterworth to name but a few.