The North East proved to be fantastic hosts of a great international boxing event as England ran out winners over a Swedish national team.
Seven great international bouts were on the bill, including two female bouts, and England won four to take a 4-3 victory.
The show was hosted by Davey Newth and the Tyne, Tees and Wear Amateur Boxing Association (TTW ABA) and to make it even more special, four of the English boxers were from TTW clubs.
The girls got the international bouts underway (after six great undercard bouts) and Newth’s pre-event prediction that England’s two girls were certainly worth a watch proved true.
Ronnlund started well and looked a very quick and smart boxer but Anthony weathered the storm and started to show her class with good shot selection as the bout went on.
What Anthony did particularly well was come in to range, get off her shots, and then go back out of range at the right time; forcing her opponent to then miss.
Whiteside is a two-time ABA champion and also has a European silver medal. She showed her class in this bout, allowing the Swedish boxer to take centre stage and be the aggressor while defending well and picking her off with some fantastic counter punches.
Strandell was a very determined fighter and deserves credit for continuously stalking down Whiteside despite the power in the shots she was landing.
This was a very good contest and a great advert for women’s boxing. Don’t be surprised to see Whiteside at Rio in 2016.
Josh was competing for the first time since his fantastic performance before Christmas had earned him a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships.
The Houghton boxer, competing in his first senior international bout, fought a tricky southpaw in Goyram, who was seven years his senior.
That never stopped Josh though and he continued his fantastic development towards boxing’s elite with a great performance and victory.
He started cagey in the first but by the second he was in full flow and landing shots very fluently. The crowd was electric for the bout and Goyram was never out of the bout. His constant pressure meant Josh had to work hard for his victory and he will have learnt a lot from this.
Cunningham, who boxes out of Wellington, looked nervy at the start and early on he was picked off by a classy Bozan. He did get it together as the bout went on but he hadn’t done enough by the final bell.
It was a very similar story for Cunningham’s stable mate Peter Martin too. His bout with Ben Bodilla was a bit tighter than the previous bout but a nervy start in the end cost Martin as he conceded a majority decision.
The styles of the two fighters appeared to clash as they both got too close for the majority of the fight and failed to land too much that was noteworthy.
When he did box and use his jab, Martin looked classy, but the judges ruled in the favour of the Swede in a tight bout.
That meant that the overall score was 3-2 going in to Jordan King’s bout with Hampus Henriksson and King could have been forgiven for feeling a little under pressure. Victory for him would guarantee England’s team victory but defeat would have resulted in the final bout being a decider.
King has had to come through some tough obstacles lately after his Hetton Town gym was sadly closed. He now boxes out of Birtley and the big-man is rarely in a boring fight.
King was involved in a fight of the year at the Hetton Town show at the end of last year with Warren Cassap after the two went toe-to-toe and blasted at each other, and King would again not disappoint.
As usual here King started explosively and showed that he thinks less about his defence and more about making sure he hits his opponent harder than the opponent hits him.
In the first though he was a bit too wild and although he did land some big shots, on the whole, Henriksson enjoyed an opening round in which he picked off King after making him miss.
By the second King had just started to get his timing perfect and was really starting to hammer at the away boxer. The bout was really starting to excite the crowd with King’s explosive style pleasing on the eye, but it sadly would not last for much longer.
Henriksson had come in with strapping over the left knee and when the two clashed towards the end of the second round it would prove to be the end. It was hard to see whether the Swede went down as a result of a King shot or whether he’d just tripped as the two both came in at the same time.
King also went down in the clash but was straight back up. Henriksson though, could not get up as the injury to the knee had been flared up and the referee was forced to stop the contest meaning King got the win via a stoppage.
It’s not the most ideal way to win but nevertheless it was an international win and the punishment King was giving was forcing his opponent to run and cover up and it is likely King would have won anyway.
Still, Barclay would have hoped to have given a better performance against the extremely tall and rangy Richards. A majority decision went in the Swede’s favour.
Before the international bouts the TTW put on six very good undercard bouts, all featuring TTW boxers. All six bouts were very good and showcased once again that the North East is a hotbed for boxing.