By David Waites.
The ABA Senior Novice Championship pre-quarter finals between the Armed Forces and the TTW was a huge success at the Rainton Meadows Arena.
The first bout was between Engineering fifth battalion Private Nikol Chambers and Albert Hill’s Chris Woods. Woods fought well in the opening bout against a strong Chambers.
Woods was on the back foot for the first round as Chambers came out and took the match to him with emphatic punches and great combinations and Woods had to keep his cool and defend well.
But in the next two rounds Woods turned on the style as he managed to use his impressive technique with his combinations and his ability to read the fight and block well in order to clinch the win.
The second bout was all about speed as Lewis Grayson hit an impressive average of 16 punches a round to clinch a win over Liam Crack to give the Armed Forces their first win of the night.
Senior Aircraftsman Grayson didn’t look like losing as every punch he threw was too fast for Crack to control and Grayson showed his impressive speed, as he was able to hit Crack with an impressive five-punch combination in the third round that led the official to pause the game just before the final bell. Grayson Claiming an emphatic and worthy win.
The Third win of the night went to Jonathon Davies (Horden) against an evenly matched Corporal Mark Burn. In the first round both boxers tried to read one another but neither were giving anything away. Burn tried to turn on the heat with combinations but Davies was capable to counter the combinations and to pile the pressure on Burn leading him to win the bout after a close fight.
An injured Daniel Charlton (Lambton Street) fought hard with determination and sheer desire to win to pull of an impressive win against Senior Aircraftsman Chris Stokes.
Stokes was able to get in close to Charlton and work the body as Charlton threw heavy punches in order to slow down Stokes. Charlton was then caught with a strong Jab in the second round and his nose was bust open with the official ordering the wound to be sorted. Stokes had his target but in a shock turn of events Charlton used this injury as motivation. Charlton developed a ‘pitbull’ like approach to the fight and threw everything he had to clinch the win at the end of the round.
The Next fight was between Daniel Lay (Lambton Street) and first battalion Armed Service Andy Hassel, with a very strong Hassel taking the win.
Hassel had the advantage when it came to strength but Lay was technically gifted and his ability to combine his jabs was impressive as he continued to catch Hassel with counter punches. In the final round of this bout Daniel Lay used his height and his technical ability to use the strength of Hassel against him as he constantly tried to use his strong right hook but Lay was capable to avoid them. But the fight was awarded to Hassel.
Lay’s coach Tony Austin said after the fight: “ Danny was looking for single shots in the first rounds, he kept something back throughout the fight until the final round. His combinations were a joy to behold he boxed really well and deserved the win. We are all shocked he wasn’t given the win. The Judges are killing this sport; they are the death of the game. Not the boxers, not the coaches, something must be done in order to save this game.”
The penultimate fight was between Phillip Thompson (Sunderland East End) and RAF Sergeant David Hayden. Thompson is already on a current unbeaten run and he was hoping to capitalize on his momentum and control a very physical Hayden. Thompson used his pace and his combinations to get the better of Hayden in the first round. By the second round Thompson was controlling of the tempo and the RAF sergeant couldn’t keep up. With the TTW boxer having the longer reach, Hayden had to try to keep up the quick movement and long reach. Thompson dominated throughout the fight as these two giants collided, with Hayden trying to keep up with Thompson he was running on empty in the final round. Thompson saw his chance and took it well and connected 11 punches to Hayden’s 5 in the final round Thompson’s run continues after an impressive win in an entertaining bout.
The organizer of this spectacle David Newth said: “ The lads did us proud and they did themselves proud. Every bout had been at the highest quality and it was an enjoyable night for all. The lads from the armed forces got a huge response from the crowd and gave a solid performance and it was a proud moment for us all.”
The winners will now go on to the quarter finals which will be held in Manchester on November 17th.