Neil Anderson has declared the combination of skill and spirit on display in Sudbury Amateur Boxing Club’s latest show as the best he has seen.
More than 250 spectators were on hand inside Sudbury Rugby Club’s clubhouse on Saturday evening to witness home boxers winning six out of their eight bouts.
But more than that headline figure, head coach Anderson was waxing lyrical about the performances of his boys.
“It was the best one we have ever had really,” he said of the 18 competitive bouts, which followed on from one skills contest as part of the club’s spring show. “It was more the performances, which were all proper good performances.
“The boys all showed really good heart, fitness and skills.
“It was really entertaining and, at the end of the day, that is what people watch sport for.”
A highlight of the nigh came early on as 11-year-old Charlie Attridge (32kg) marked his competitive debut with a closely-fought defeat on a split decision (2-1) to Luke Betts of Norwich Diamonds.
Anderson said: “Charlie started well, but just didn’t stick to his boxing, getting drawn into a bit of scrap allowing Betts back into the contest.
“But it was a good debut for Charlie and with a bit more compose he could of turned the decision around.”
Jack Wiffen (36kg) got revenge for a defeat by Attleborough’s Jack Dolan on his home show two weeks ago, with the 12-year-old boxing neatly throughout and kept his opponent at range to take a unanimous verdict.
The speed and technique of 14-year-old George Dennis (55kg) was key as he took a split deicision to claim victory over his taller opponent Kieron Lancaster, of Attleborough.
Ryan Sumner’s (52kg) fourth unbeaten fight was a credit to his determination as the 14-year-old southpaw landed some solid left hands, causing the referee to give Thomas Kind Heros of King’s Lynn a standing eight count in three rounds before he was forced to retire.
While no relation, Jake Sumner (60kg) followed up his namesake teammate’s victory with a unanimous decision against Lewis Meason of Chelmsford.
Tommy Taylor (85kg) struggled to find his range against Ross Shepard of Battlebridge in Crawley in a messy two rounds, before the 17-year-old hit form too late in the third as his opponent claimed a deserved victory.
Karn Murphy, of Strood, Kent, was unable to continue his contest with Sudbury’s Jack Fletcher (85kg) with the 18-year-old using his height advantage and solid body shots to bring things to a quick conclusion.
In the last bout, 16-year-old Jasper Boydell (60kg) gave the partisan crowd plenty to get off their feet for as he came back from the brink to take a split verdict by the narrowest of margins, after much deliberation.
Against Arthur McDonagh of Finchley, London — who had only lost once previously — he struggled to work out his opponent’s awkward style in the first round, but came back as the second wore on with some solid shots, which were not enough to take the round.
In the third, Boydell totally outboxed him, landing an attack of shots close to double figures without reply, before the verdict came in his favour.
“It was testimony to his commitment and determination that he took it and the judges said it was simply because of the way he made it happen,” added Anderson. “It takes two to make a great contest though and both boys more than deserved their applause from the crowd.”
Boydell is set to have a return bout in Finchley.