Coach Mal Gates says he is very proud of his boys after Lee Mould and Anthony Nelson both won on Saturday at the O2 Academy in Newcastle.
Fighting on Steve Wraith’s ‘Farewell to Fergie’ bill, two of Gates’ bright young boxers won convincingly. Both took 40-36 decisions although both were unlucky not to add stoppages to their records.
Lee Mould, Mal’s fantastic Sunderland boxer, had to deal with a late opponent change as he faced Scotland’s Ryan McNichol.
Although McNichol wasn’t the quality of boxer Lee and Mal were hoping to fight, he still could have been a sticky test for Mould, just as he had been for Gates’ other boxer David Lake (fighting 8th December – see below). Lake fought McNichol in his third pro fight and lost on points before reversing the decision in a rematch.
Lee showed no signs of struggle though as he controlled from the opening bell till the last. Had the bout been against any other fighter, then Lee would have been likely to score at least a knock down but McNichol deserves credit because he showed real heart to stay in there.
Immediately after the fight Lee said he was very happy with the win but was a little disappointed that his original opponent (Richard Barclay who would have come with a winning record) had to pull out. Lee felt this fight was too easy and seems desperate to step up.
That is something that is echoed by Mal who said: “It went well, Lee boxed well and controlled the fight but the change of opponent didn’t help. We want to move Lee on because there I had to bollock him after the first round because he looked complacent and bored. Fair play to McNichol though, he was very tough and he needs credit for putting a show on.”
Mal also went on to add that Lee progressing at the right time was very important.
He said: “You don’t want them to go stale because he isn’t fighting good opposition. I don’t want to train Lee for six weeks then put him in against someone who wont test him because I want Lee to challenge for titles. I don’t just want him to go for titles though, I want him to win them and so I want him ready when the time comes.”
Nelson impressed once again, moving to 4-0 with a great display of aggressive boxing, never giving Alfadi time at any point in the four rounds. The home fighter’s aggression was so much so that by the end of the fight the referee was looking very closely at Alfadi with a view of perhaps stopping it but Alfadi did just enough to last till the final bell.
Mal said of Nelson’s performance: “That was the best he’d boxed as a professional. He boxed at 8st 5lbs comfortably against a kid who’s been in with a lot of good boxers such as Paul Butler, the current British champion, and he drew with Chris Edwards who was British champion at that time.
“Anthony really boxed him well and his angles and everything was class. To be honest it surprised me how well he handled him because that lad is very awkward. He did everything we worked on in the gym and to actually see it happening, it was like wow!”
There aren’t many British fighters at Anthony’s weight and Alfadi was ranked number six before the fight. Mal also added that he wouldn’t hesitate to put him in a title fight tomorrow if the opponent was right.
Mal’s third boxer David Lake, who wasn’t on the bill on Saturday, will instead fight in Sheffield on December 8th on a Dennis Hobson’s promoted show at the Don Valley Stadium. He’ll fight Qasim Hussain in his comeback fight after losing to Tommy Ward. Hussain has had only one fight so far losing to Michael Stupart, so it makes for an interesting fight for Lake.
“It’s a 50/50 fight because it’s in his back yard but David is far more experienced. We’ve done our homework and know what he’s like. I’m a bit disappointed they only want to do 6×2’s but he’s ready for it and his weight is spot on.
“His loss to Tommy Ward was no disgrace. In a few years David will be sitting when Tommy is winning titles and he’ll be able to say ‘I went in the ring with that lad.’ We’ve got to move on David knows a win means he can get back amongst good kids.”
Mal also revealed that he is hoping to get both Anthony and Lee back out before Christmas as well. Unless anything drastic happens to change it, he also doesn’t expect either to box over four rounds again and is even looking at eight round fights.