More than 400 people packed into Sudbury Sports Centre on Saturday night as Sudbury Amateur Boxing Club fielded eight boxers among 22 bouts.
Jasper Boydell was the only home fighter to taste victory in the open show, overcoming South Oxley’s Tom Foreshaw ahead of his Eastern Counties Junior ABA finals bout in Canvey a week tomorrow, having received a bye.
Sudbury head coach Neil Anderson praised his young guns, despite the results largely going against them in front of a strong home crowd.
“It was not the best set of results, but with four majority verdicts that all could have gone our way on another day, I am not unhappy,” he said.
“All the lads performed well and worked hard, which is all I can ask — I think the crowd would agree there were some cracking close well-fought contests and the lads are improving all the time.”
In the opening skills contests, Sudbury’s Joe Branch showed tremendous potential against New Astley’s Joshua Kennedy to prove he is more than ready for competitive bouts.
Jack Burgess, 14, demonstrated tremendous work-rate in front of a vocal home crowd and the judges could not separate him from Faversham’s Byron Clark at under-40kg, eventually given a majority verdict to Clark.
Jordan Lawson, 15, produced one of the most entertaining fights of the night against Shaun Gilliam of Billericay at under-44kg.
Both had successes and again it was very close, but Gilliam just pipped the Sudbury fighter on a majority verdict.
Fellow 15-year-old Leon Thomas also took on a Billericay boxer in Joe Giles at under-67kg. The shorter, stockier Thomas took it to his taller opponent, using excellent head movement to get inside Giles’ long leads to land strong hooks to head and body.
At times it looked like Giles would fold, but he was boxing well off his back foot.
When the judges awarded Giles a controversial majority verdict, the home crowd expressed their disapproval.
Boydell took on 15-year-old Forshaw of South Oxley in Watford and Forshaw took the first round with strong attacks.
But in the second and third, Boydell found his rhythm and used excellent movement and angles to negate Forshaw’s strong attacks and took a close unanimous points verdict.
Connor Blezard struggled to overcome illness to even compete in the ABA semi-finals class four (born 1997) under-70kg bout against Darren Muney of Trumpington, Cambridge and this showed after he faded from the second round, with Muney proceeding to next week’s final.
Tommy Harrison had too much for Sudbury’s Callum Bloye in the welterweight bout (70kg) with the Cheshunt fighter taking a deserved unanimous decision.
In the super heavyweight division, Sudbury’s Mike Miller (120kg) started using his longer reach to keep Cambridge’s Arron Jobe (105kg) at distance.
But the stronger Jobe came out all guns blazing in the third and caught Miller with some big shots, taking two counts, with the judges duly awarding a unanimous verdict in Jobe’s favour.
Boydell and Bloyes are taking part in the Eastern Counties Junior ABA finals next Friday at Canvey after receiving byes in the Suffolk versus Cambridge round this weekend.
Sudbury’s next show takes place on June 2, venue to be confirmed.