SUDBURY set a new club record for entrants in a home show as they brought the curtain down on their season in style at Sudbury Sports Centre on Saturday night.
A healthy crowd of around 300 people, including Cavendish’s Scottish Premier League footballer Josh Meekings, turned out to see 13 Sudbury Amateur Boxing Club fighters trade punches with opponents from around East Anglia and London in their summer dinner show.
Head coach Neil Anderson could not hide his pride as his juniors proved the town’s boxing reputation continues to grow, notching up a respectable five wins, coupled with five defeats from their competitive bouts, all on points.
Three Sudbury boys took part in the skills bouts to open the evening, which also included a dinner preceding the event with presentation plaques given out to each competitor by Great Cornard councillor Peter Beer.
“I am really pleased with them,” said Anderson of his fighters. “It is the most lads we have ever had box on a home show.
“Thirteen Sudbury lads in their own show is quite remarkable, especially for a little sleepy Suffolk town like ours.”
Twelve-year-old George Dennis (43kg) opened up the night’s programme, demonstrating good defensive work in his skills bout against Wisbech’s Ryan Davies before Sudbury’s 14-year-old Leon Thomas (66kg) (in his first fight) and 15-year-old Joe Attridge (66kg) took important steps in their development.
In the first competitive fight, Sudbury’s 14-year-old Joe Branch (52kg) sustained a bloody nose in the first round against Dagenham’s Freddie Hudson and never recovered sufficiently as his opponent won on a unanimous decision.
Thirteen-year-old Jack Burgess (37kg) saw his aggressive style paid dividends as the home crowd cheered their first winner of the night against Chelmsford’s Charlie Brady, who had been a late replacement, on a unanimous decision.
The next Sudbury fighter into the ring was 11-year-old Zak Lawson (40kg) in the seventh bout, and a strong finish proved enough in the judge’s eyes against Southend’s Alfie Scopes, as he won on a majority decision.
Jake Sumner, 14, (42kg) narrowly lost on a majority verdict to Chaveldon’s Tyler O’Flynn despite turning his opponent well on the ropes and demonstrating some good jabs.
Fourteen-year-old Jordan Lawson (39kg) had the crowd on their feet with a flurry of right and left hooks against Chelmsford’s Shaun Gillam that saw him take a unanimous points win for Sudbury.
Jasper Boydell, 14, (46kg) was always on the front foot, pushing Dagenham’s Louie Phillips into the corners to earn another unanimous points win for Sudbury, while the Suffolk club’s 15-year-old Connor Belzard (65kg) lived up to his glittering tassled shorts with good footwork and an energetic performance that saw him awarded a majority verdict against Lion’s powerful hitter Billy Jaynes.
After the interval Sudbury’s George Manning (62kg), Joe Watterson (69kg) and Michael Miller (116kg), all lost on points, the former to a unanimous decision and both the others to majority decisions.
Anderson said: “I was pleased with them all. Only two guys, Mike (Miller) and Joey (Watterson) possibly did not perform to their best but they were majority decisions and on another day could have gone another way.
“I thought Jake Sumner had done enough to win and it was very, very close, so I cannot grumble.
“Jasper Boydell and Connor Blezard boxed extremely well. Jasper gave everything and controlled that fight.
“It was his third win on the trot, he lost his first two and it is testament to the long hours he has put in at the gym.”
He added: “In the last year we have moved on a long way and I am really pleased.
“They are a good bunch of lads and all work hard. It is their first competitive season and I would not believe how well it has gone.”
The club will be holding their end of season presentation night on July 14 and will be holding a superstars competition in their Cornard Road gym, which is set to have its roof finally fixed after generous funding from Sudbury, Cornard and Suffolk councils.
Other results: Lewis Agambar (Canvey) beat Sam Gilbey (Norwich City); James Redman (Castle) beat Lewis Measom (Chelmsford); Chalrie Boom (Chaveldon) beat Lawrence Manning (Wisbech); Ryan Earley (Gateway) beat Nicholas Vargeson (Wisbech); Markos Mylozis (Wisbech) beat Lloyd Martin (Cheetahs); Tom Henry (Leicester Fountain) beat Carl Lindhoe (Castle).