Phil Jeffries had a busy week that started with his amateur club hosting a show at Farringdon Club on Thursday night.
Just 24 hours later Jeffries was co-promoting one of the biggest North East professional shows of the year, but first all eyes were on the young amateurs.
They did not disappoint either, as The Olympian – which was originally set up after Phil’s son Tony won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – hosted a fantastic night of boxing.
Featuring 13 bouts, there were many stand-out performances but none more so than that of senior boxer Liam Knight.
Second last on the bill Knight proved well worth the wait after he scored a devastating knockout victory over Danni Lay (Lambton Street).
The stoppage came in the third and final round but before that Knight was shook up in the first.
He was rocked by a shot from Lay and went down but he was off-balance because he had just threw his own shot. That was ruled a slip but there was no doubt about the eventual end.
After three gruelling rounds where both threw a lot of heavy leather. Lay tired and when Knight timed a massive left hook perfectly to his opponent’s jaw he was sent down and the referee waved it off immediately, such was the brutality of it.
Thankfully Lay recovered and credit should be given to Knight for his attitude and sportsmanship after the knockout too. In two years of watching amateur boxing that is the first KO I have seen and Knight is certainly a name I wont forget in a hurry.
That could also be said of young Olympian prospect Regan Cann who, along with Jaxon Laws from Plains Farm, produced one of the fights of the night.
Cann started aggressively and quickly looked to use his height and reach advantage. He went after his opponent throwing long and wide hooks that caught the eye and pleased the fans.
Both threw a lot of leather but Cann was first to the punch most of the time and gave an impressive performance against a gutsy Laws who didn’t give him anything easy. The judges did rule a unanimous decision for Cann though.
In a treat for boxing fans, London 2012 Olympian Thomas Essomba topped the bill in Farringdon.
After representing Cameroon at the Olympics (his second games after also competing in 2008) the light-flyweight decided to stay in the UK and has found base at Sunderland’s Olympian gym.
Essomba boxed both Olympic games at 49kgs and he might be slightly over that weight now but he was heavily outweighed by Hartlepool Headland’s Mick Hadfield.
Hadfield had boxed in this season’s senior ABA’s at 57kg and as a result of the weight differences Essomba really had his work cut out.
The Hartlepool boxer largely dominated the contest but it was still an experience to watch the two-time Olympian and I’m sure it will have been a relief for him to get back in the ring after coaches struggled to match him.
The Olympian’s Luke Jackson was certainly not short of fans in attendance. During his bout the atmosphere was intense as his loyal family and friends certainly made their voices heard and Jackson did not disappoint.
He won unanimously against Lewis Curry (Northumberland F&R) and showed a great boxer-fighter style and switched well in his attacks between body and head.
Full results from the show were: