Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Exmouth ABCs second show of the season last Friday at the Pavilion turned into one of the best ever put on by the famous old club, writes Phil Crook.
A packed crowd were treated to 14 bouts, with all but two of them split decisions, which meant that they were very close and not without controversy, always a good recipe for excitement!
The evening started with two skills bouts, featuring first time performances from Exmouth’s Ollie Jones and Tom Robins, in contests with no decision, a concept designed to take away the pressure of boxing for a win.
Next up it was a bout between Lympstone’s Rory Clay and Jay Phelps from the Factory ABC Gloucester, in a fast and furious contest that saw both boxers going toe to toe.
It produced the first majority verdict of the night with Phelps just getting the nod. Lympstone’s Jack Silk, making his debut, boxed with surprising composure for a first timer to record an emphatic win over Torbay’s Carl Greatorex.
Exmouth Noel Gatehouse slipped to a majority defeat against The Factory’s Sam Mann, but he will be looking to overturn the result when the pair meet again in Gloucester at the end of the month.
Lympstone’s Harry Webb was involved in the closest scoring of the night, with two judges giving identical scores of 11 to each boxer, but they then have to nominate a winner and one went for Webb and one for Tiverton’s Corey Westbrook.
The third judge had scored in Westbrook’s favour and to the Mid Devon boxer edged the split result.
Lympstone’s Jon Fenton-Harvey closed the first half against Mayflower’s Danny Reynolds on top and he looked a little unlucky as he also slipped to a majority defeat having seemingly done just about enough to gain a win.
Exmouth’s James Skinner got the second half of the bill underway and he produced his best performance for along time against Sturminster Newton’s Chris Adams.
In the first round Skinner produced a tremendous left hook to the body that saw Adams sink to one knee and take a full eight count before rising to resume. Skinner kept the pressure up for the remainder of the contest and he was judged a clear winner on two score cards, but one judge inexplicably gave it against him. Lympstone’s Tom Shaw gave a brave performance against Mayflower’s Kristian Sprangle but he couldn’t stem the Plymothian’s relentless attacks and the referee called a halt midway through the second round. Exmouth’s Dave Ruiz and Surminsters David Baird clashed in a Masters super heavy weight bout, a division specifically for boxers aged between 34 and 40 years of age. For two such large men it was a surprisingly skilful bout with both men being very mobile. After three close rounds Ruiz gained a majority decision to which Baird protested his disbelief by shouting his thoughts from the ring, something rarely ever witnessed at a tournament.
Exmouth’s Lewis Mills made his debut against Combe Martin’s Alex Dovell, who had already boxed 4 times before. The gap in experience didn’t show though as the pair set off at furious pace, with Dovell looking like he was just ahead after two rounds. Mills made a supreme effort in the final round and he forced the referee into giving Dovell a standing count after sustained pressure, but despite this, only one judge thought he had done enough and he slipped to a majority defeat. Another super heavy clash saw Exmouth’s Alex Barton pitted against Surminster’s Patrick Everett. It was a real blood and thunder contest with both boxers having to summon up real courage to make the final bell after pushing themselves to the limit. It was by far the highest scoring bout of the night with Barton deserving his majority win. Jamie Drummond scored a second round win over Surminster’s Dan Moors when the Dorset man retired because he was feeling unwell. After a brief rest and some fluid he soon felt better though. The final bout of the night saw the only local derby with Exmouth’s Matt Case meeting Lympstone’s Sam Walkey for the second time. Once again it was a very tense, low scoring affair with a lot of holding. The boxers opposing styles, with Case being orthodox and Walkey a southpaw, meant it was a fractured contest that Walkey won by a unanimous decision and so ended a fantastic night of fistic fun.