BRIDLINGTON boxers made themselves at home as their club staged a show at a new venue last Friday.
Local lads won nine out of 10 scored bouts at Hornsea Floral Hall, with a number of impressive performances on show from the youngsters in red.
The evening kicked off with two skills bouts. Ten-year-old Harvey Rowe was first into the ring, taking on Ben Oliver from Hull Saints ABC. Rowe looked the more assured boxer in the first round against a decent, neat and tidy opponent.
The Bridlington boxer was the more aggressive, looking to get forward more in a good opening to the night’s proceedings.
The same two clubs locked horns in the second encounter, with Ryker Herrgesell up against Alfie Drury from Hull.
Reliant on his left-hand from the off, Herrgesell looked good, forcing Drury to the canvas halfway through the first round, although it was more the result of a slip than the heavy pressure.
Aware enough to keep himself out of danger, he kept pinning the Hull lad back during the second.
Drury gave it more of a go in the final round but Herrgesell could be very pleased with his evening’s work.
Ben Malone faced Nathan Clarkson, from Selby-based Mickey’s ABC, and made a good positive start, but was caught by a good shot halfway through the first round which hampered his progress somewhat.
However he fought back and gave as good as he got, despite needing to be a bit more mobile around the ring.
Malone threw some good strong punches as the fight went on, but seemed to lack confidence in his own ability.
However, having looked tired at the end of round two, he came out strongly in the final round, and it was enough to secure a majority verdict - a decision which left the Selby camp turning the air blue.
Lewis Spaven and Harry Fryer, from the Kelly’s ABC in Leeds, shared the spoils in a cagey opening couple of rounds, with neither quite able to impose themselves on the fight.
The third round was a more frenetic affair and it was a hard to call, but the judges gave a majority to Spaven.
The best fight of the first half of the card came as Billy Gibson took on John Johnstone of Brodsworth, and there was plenty of punishment dished out from both sides in the opening 90 seconds.
The high-octane stuff continued in the second round with neither boxer showing any fear.
Gibson picked up a bloodied nose halfway through the fight, but his immediate response was to send Johnstone to the canvas for an eight count.
Defence was not an option for either youngster and at the very start of the final round, Gibson, whose nose was getting worse, had to take an eight count. It was an excellent fight, with Gibson getting caught by another powerful blow.
Unanimously, the judges went for Johnstone, but Gibson deserves plenty of credit for his attitude and ability.
Ben Spaven and Kelly’s ABC’s Callum Parton fought out a low-key encounter, which featured plenty of movement but was short on the big punches. Always going to be difficult to follow such an action-packed fight, Spaven’s hard work earned him a unanimous decision.
What a difference two weeks made for Tom Hebden, who tackled Mo Merhban for the second time in a fortnight.
Much improved since his debut at Bridlington Spa in the autumn, Hebden’s success was based on his excellent defence.
His opponent, from the Phil Thomas School of Boxing in Middlesbrough, was clearly a classy operator but he was unable to find a way through Hebden’s guard.
As well as protecting himself immaculately, Hebden forced his way through with a few solid punches in the second round, and for all the shots Merhban threw, the home boxer landed the more impressive shots and took a well-deserved unanimous decision.
After the break, the decent-sized crowd were treated to a masterclass by English champion Zac Stabler.
A class above his opponent Eddie Drayton of Scunthorpe ABC, he cruised to victory at 66kg without stepping out of third gear. Always on his toes, he was quick in and out to land his shots, and had a good range of punches.
Stabler showed good, quick hands but never wasted energy or wasted a punch.
One shot caused damage to Drayton’s nose and to make matters worse Stabler stepped things up in the last two minutes.
Drayton rarely looked like troubling him but he certainly didn’t disgrace himself, with a brave display against the odds.
Only a whisker ended up separating Aaron Boyes and Joe Jenkins from the Hillsborough ABC in Sheffield.
Boyes was busy in the first round, looking lively and throwing plenty of punches but it was obvious Jenkins wasn’t there to make up the numbers and showed some good moments.
An intriguing contest between two very well-matched fighters, Boyes picked up a cut in the final round as Jenkins finished the fight strongly. A real good quality bout, and a good battle, the judges were split and Boyes earned a majority verdict.
It was harsh on Jenkins, who had only accepted the fight with a few hours notice, after Boyes’ original opponent had dropped out at the last minute.
Jenkins was named away boxer of the night, and Boyes picked up the home boxer award, which underlines what good entertainment it was.
There was plenty of action in the early exchanges as Liam Bowtell took on Sonny Price from the Steel City ABC, and while the initial pace slowed, the force of the punches remained.
It was nip and tuck throughout the second round, and although the bout never completely exploded it was very watchable.
Momentum swung back and forth in the final two minutes and it must have been the toughest call of the night for the men with the scorecards.
Bowtell got the nod, but you wonder if it might have been a different outcome if the fight had been on Price’s home soil.
Hornsea’s own Roan Stanley took on Callum Devine from St Paul’s ABC, two relatively inexperienced lads going head-to-head. Both raw, they produced a good fight with plenty of effort on show.
Stanley produced a good blend of punches in the final round, landing some decent shots and quickly getting himself away from danger.
His work at the end of the fight was what earned him a unanimous verdict, and his delight was clear as he recorded his first win.
Rounding off the evening were Darren Boyes and Richard Smith from the Dodsworth ABC in Barnsley.
A closely-matched first round was followed by the fight opening up in the second.
Boyes was forced to take an eight count as the fight neared its conclusion, so it was a little surprising that he was given the majority verdict.