McGivern Secures Light Heavy Crown the Hard Way at Historic Clacton-on-Sea Event.

Ringside Report:Gianluca Di Caro – Photographs courtesy of Shane Leach

On Saturday night at the Princess Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, Professional Boxing made a most welcome return to the seaside town after almost 80 years, when Colchester’s Tommy Jacobs presented his latest boxing promotion, aptly titled ‘History’.

The previous pro boxing in the town, back in February 1939, see Ireland’s Mike Kavan beat London’s Charlie Mack at the then recently opened Butlin’s holiday camp.

Clacton is a town that’s steeped in boxing history, although since the second world war mainly of the Amateur variety, in fact Tommy Jacobs himself fought in the town on numerous occasions during his Amateur career and one of the greats of the sport is immortalized by the restaurant at the bowling alley on Clacton Pier, Armstrong’s, which is named after the American boxer John Henry Armstrong who beat British champion Ernie Roderick also in 1939.

 It seemed rather appropriate that the very first of the pro boxing contests of this new era should feature the current World Boxing Foundation (WBF) International and European Champion, as well as promoter of the event, Tommy Jacobs, in a non-Championship six round contest against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.

Right from the opening bell Jacobs took to the fight to his highly experienced opponent, albeit with just tentative testing jabs, but as the round progressed the action became more full on, with Jacobs backing up Kelly on to the ropes before letting rip with slick combinations to body and head.

Kelly, a previous multi-title challenger in his own right, initially covered up and absorbed the shots but soon began to counter effectively.

More of the same early in the second, although must credit Kelly for his slick responses that prevented Jacobs from having quite the same level of success in the first stanza, however as the clock entered the final 20 seconds or so of the round Jacobs started letting rip with big shots to the body with increasing success,so much so that literally in the final seconds Kelly was forced to take a knee after a particularly vicious left.

Unfortunately Kelly struggled to catch his breath and rise to his feet in time to beat Referee Lee Murtagh’s count, official time of the stoppage being 2 Minutes and 56 Seconds of the second round.

Following the fight Tommy Jacobs announced that the reason he undertook a non-championship six rounder and not the originally planned WBF Intercontinental title fight against Albanian Xhuljo Vrenozi, was that he has been proposed to potentially challenge Australia’s two time World Champion Sam Soliman for the World Boxing Foundation(WBF) World title in December.

The second bout of the night see Dean Porter making his professional debut against Liverpool’s Steven Sunners (2-0-0).

What a cracking all action affair, from start to finish both lads really went for it hammer and tongs.

After four scintillating closely fought rounds it came as no surprise that the result was going to be close, and close it was, Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard reading39-38 in favour of Liverpool’s Steven Sunners.

Next up was a four round Featherweight contest between Clacton’s very own Ben ‘The Claxican’ Cook and Belfast’s Chris Wong, both of whom were making their pro debuts.

The first couple of rounds, as with Porter-Sunners, were so closely fought that it wasn’t easy to call the winner of each round, however in the 3rd the decision was made a little easier after Cook landed a cracking body-shot late in the round to send the Irishman to his knees.

After four highly entertaining all action rounds Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read 40-37 in favour of local hero Ben Cook.

As with the previous contest this was an all action thriller of epic proportions, so much so that it was without doubt it was the Fight of the Night.

Have to say really enjoyed this fight and hopefully after this pair get a few fights under their belts there’ll be a rematch as I would love to see these two in action against each other again, it was that good.

The fourth fight of the night see Ipswich Super Middleweight Rob Elden making his pro debut against Liverpool’s Lee Cooper.

Elden started hard and fast, taking the fight to his more experienced foe and letting rip with big shots to body and head. Initially Cooper covered up but soon started countering with some big shots of his own, however in doing so left an opening in his defence that the Ipswich man was quick to capitalise on with a big right to the head to send Copper to the canvas.

Copper made it to his feet and action resumed in very much the same vein, with Elden backing Copper up before letting rip with big shots, Cooper once again responded with big shots of his own. As the round approached the second minute, once again Elden found a chink in Cooper’s armour and this time landed a big right to the body to send the Liverpudlian to the canvas for a second and final time. Official time of the stoppage was one minute and fifty-nine seconds of the first round.

The headline fight of the night see Hove’s Navid Iran and Scotland’s Ben McGivern battling it out for the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver International Light Heavyweight title.

Battling it out is the correct term; this was a Battle Royale of epic proportions.

Right from the off Iran took the fight to McGivern, backing the Scot onto the ropes and letting rip with a flurry of big left and rights. McGivern sensibly covered up and waited an opportunity to counter, which he did with good effect once the opportunity arose.

However it wasn’t enough to prevent Iran coming back with a similar forceful attack almost immediately. McGivern once again managed to counter and initially take control.

As the round progressed Iran landed a couple of cracking shots that again forced McGivern tocover up. Iran kept up the pressure with big shots, whilst McGivern caught most with his gloves a big right got through the Scots guard, shaking him to the core.

How McGivern made it to the end of the round, I just don’t know, his legs were well and truly gone,but somehow he did.

Round two see Iran come out hard and fast, however McGivern was ready for the assault, again initially covering up but this time instead of just countering and covering, he spun his opponent and went hard on the attack himself.

Round three see McGivern taking the fight to Iran, which led to some great technical boxing ensuing from both protagonists.

The next few rounds were fought in similar vein. The final round though was an out and out war; both boxers throwing caution to the wind and an all out slugfest ensued for the entire final three minutes – what an exhilarating round.

After eight fantastic rounds of boxing it was Ben McGivern declared victor by scoring referee LeeMurtagh, by a 79-74 points margin.

Have to say whilst definitely the right result, the result just doesn’t convey just how close each and every round, but the first, was. These two really put on a magnificent show and was a serious contender for the Fight of the Night award.

What a great event to welcome pro boxing back to Clacton-on-Sea after a close to eighty-year hiatus, a return clearly appreciated by fans of the pugilistic arts who had packed the historic venue to the hilt almost an hour before the event was scheduled to begin.

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After Bloody Battle Royale’s Doherty, Decastro and Peers Crowned Champions

 
Ringside Report: Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs Courtesy of Mirek Marcinski
 
On Friday, whilst most boxing fans were preparing for the World Super Series final between George Groves and Callum Smith to be beamed over from Saudi Arabia, I made the trek up from my London home to Derby for the weigh-in at the Stein Strasse Bar in the City for an event at Pride Park the following day.
 
Have to say I’ve been to quite a few weigh-ins, but can’t recall any here in the UK that could be termed an event in themselves. The only one even remotely similar I can recall attending was at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York back in 2007.
 
With so much effort put into the presentation of the weigh-in, I have to admit I was feeling right up for the event itself the next day, as I made my way to Pride Park, and as it turns out quite rightly so.
 
The headlining fight, that featured Derby’s very own Ross Doherty and Latvia’s Gvido Seilis, was for both the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Super Welterweight Championships.
 
As the opening bell both combatants strode to centre ring and entered into the battle more akin to mortal combat of Roman Gladiators than modern day Pugilists, such was the sheer eruption of violent combat that ensued.
 
As like Warriors from the past Doherty and Seilis positioned themselves face to face across the battleground, neither willing to concede a single inch in the battle for superiority of the first stanza. Wow, fantastic all action first round.
 
Doherty’s power and precision earned him the first couple of rounds in my eyes, but in the third it was Seilis that caught the eye, he stepped up the pace and began to dominate much of the round, backing up the Derby man with big solid straight rights.
 
Initially early in the fourth it was again Seilis in the ascendency, however around the minute mark Doherty got behind his jab to open up opportunities for him to let rip with some big rights of his own and soon wrestled back control of the round, as well as the next two or three.
 
Seilis came out hard and fast in the seventh and went to work on the body and head of Doherty, forcing the Derby man to be a little more defensive than he had in the previous rounds.
 
The next couple of rounds were really close, one or two way too close to call in my view, as both protagonists went toe-to-toe from start to finish of each round.
 

 
The tenth and final round was sensational it was an incredible Battle Royale, have to admit didn’t expect the round to reach it’s natural conclusion as both Warriors dug deep into their arsenal, as well as both threw caution to the wind and began hurling and landing power shot after power shot. What a sensational round.
 
After ten magnificent rounds of boxing it was to the scorecards. Judge Adrian Thorne 98-95 – Judge Mark Wakefield 99-94 and Judge James Ancliff 99-92, all in favour of Ross Doherty, the new WBL & EBL European Super Welterweight Champion.
 
The penultimate contest of the night see Wolverhampton’s Emily Pugh (1-0-0) making her second professional outing, against Latvian débutée Veronika Sirajeva.
 
Right from the off Sirajeva shot across the ring and began firing massive power shots that not only forced Pugh to cover up but also initially silence the Wolverhampton girl’s highly vocal fans.
 
After the initial shock of seeing their adored heroine taking such an onslaught from the newcomer, they soon became highly vocal again calling for Pugh to counter with equal force (sounds far better than ‘smash her head in’, which was the gist of the shouts), Pugh responded forcefully to gain a semblance of control.
 

 
What ensued then was a full on war, with neither conceding an inch of ground to the other.
 
Phew what a round, seriously couldn’t split them – points wise, neither could Referee Rob Jones who scored it a draw.
 
Again in the second Sirajeva started hard and fast, however this time after an initial covering-up, Pugh responded with equal venom before getting behind her supremely strong jab to keep the hard charging Latvian at bay, well to a degree.
 
Similar in the third, however in the fourth it was Pugh that forcefully secured centre ring early on. Utilising her excellent jab Pugh began to control the proceedings.
 
As the round progressed Pugh forced her way through the Latvian’s guard, landing solid shots on Sirajeva’s chin and nose.
 
Prior to the start of the fifth Sirajeva’s coach summoned Referee Rob Jones and informed him that the talented young Latvian was unable to continue due to injury.
 
To describe the roar of joy from Pugh’s fans that echoed around the rammed to the hilt Pedigree Suite at Pride Park when Rob Jones waived off the contest, as loudly ecstatic would be like describing the Derby County fans reaction to the Rams’ victory over Manchester United just a few days earlier as just plain chuffed, seriously it was intense.
 
For the record after four rounds Referee Rob Jones’ scorecard read 40-37 in favour of Emily Pugh.
 
Prior to the Pugh-Sirajeva contest, was the second Championship contest of the evening, an all Merseyside Derby between Paul Peers and unbeaten Craig Kennerdale.
 
As if the fact it was an all Merseyside Derby wasn’t enough to add that extra element of spice to the contest, Peers is an avid Everton fan, whilst Kennerdale a fanatical supporter of Jürgen Klopp’s high flying Liverpool and more importantly there was a title on the line, the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight Championship.
 
Right from the opening bell it was a full on war, both lads going toe-to-toe letting rip with power punch after power punch.
 

 
By round three it was clear that it would be impossible to tip a winner, first round you couldn’t split them, neither could the judges, the second going to Kennerdale and the red side of the City and the third to Peers and the blues.
 
The fourth was a bloody affair, with both Kennerdale and Peers bleeding from the nose, have to say what a round though, it was pugilistic heaven to watch as both protagonists went full on for the full three minutes.
 
The fifth was very much in the same vein, as was the sixth, and once again control was switching back and forth.
 
Kennerdale gained the upper hand, just, in the sixth after stepping up the already scintillating pace. Not to be outdone Peers stepped it up further and took control of the seventh.
 
To describe the eighth and final round as sensational would have to be deemed the understatement of the year, it wasn’t a war it was Pugilistic Armageddon, so much so there wasn’t a single person seated, the entire audience on their feet screaming their support for one or t’other, even the neutrals in the house bellowed, so enthralling was the round.
 
The frenetic tension, of the combatants and their teams as they awaited the scorecards to be read, was palpable to all in attendance.
 
The stress only easing after the cards were read – Judge Adrian Thorne 78-78 (Drawn), Judge Mark Wakefield 78-76 in favour of Peers and Judge James Ancliff 78-77, also in favour of Peers, who claims the PBC Silver English Welterweight Championship accolade.
 

 
Have to say this was an awesome fight, one that very much deserves the Fight of the Night honours, and I’m sure many will agree with me also a future rematch.
 
Second fight of the night pitted Bardney, Lincolnshire’s unbeaten Nathan Decastro (13-0-0) against Accra, Ghana’s Agoe Ashong (11-1-0) for the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Super Middleweight Commonwealth Championship.
 
Both protagonists went for it hard and fast right from the opening bell, however it was Decastro that wrestled initial control, forcing the Ghanaian back onto the ropes with a series of powerful hooks to the body.
 
Each time Ashong attempted to slip or spin away, Decastro bought him straight back in-line with a big hook to the body before proceeding to punish the Ghanaian’s body and head with big powerful lefts and rights, which set the standard not just for the rest of the first stanza but also the next couple of rounds.
 

 
Whilst the first few rounds could have been fought in a phone box and Decastro very much had the upper hand, it soon become a totally different affair, as fate dealt Decastro a mighty blow.
 
During one of the many full on exchanges in round four Decastro sustained a leg injury, later confirmed as a pulled hamstring.
 
Ashong sensed the opportunity to turn the fight in his favour and went hard on the attack, throwing a huge right, Decastro countered, The Ghanaian let rip with a double-handed flurry before dancing away.
 
Decastro tried to close Ashong down and let rip with a big right, but the highly mobile Ghanaian slipped under the lightning fast Exocet and danced around the mobility challenged Englishman before letting rip with big right of his own.
 
From this moment on Ashong switched his tactics, dancing around the ring, virtually goading the limping Englishman into wild swinging attacks, initially Decastro obliged and in doing so presented Ashong the opportunity to get the upper hand and land some powerful shots.
 
However, savvy words from his corner in the break see Decastro change his tactics and instead of trying to chase the fast moving Ghanaian around the ring, slowly but surely cut-off the ring until in a position to back Ashong onto the ropes or into the corner before making a sustained attack.
 
Whilst this tactic didn’t work every time, it did enable the stricken Englishman to gain the upper hand and secure or draw many of the remaining rounds, even those where the Ghanaian had utilised questionable tactics, mainly due to alert officiating from Referee Rob Jones, who was left with no option but to deduct a point in both the fifth and eighth rounds
 
Right from the opening bell of the twelfth and final round Ashong stepped up his attacks, going full out to try and secure a knockout, secure in the knowledge that this would be the only way he could achieve victory.
 
The fact that Decastro was virtually static by this point must have made the Ghanaian confident that this tactic would be successful, however Ashong hadn’t taken into account the Englishman’s determination or his world class ring-craft.
 
Decastro, even with the debilitating injury, weaved and slipped each attack before countering with good success, more importantly he didn’t let Ashong drag him into a slugging match for the final minutes, which was surely enough to secure a hard fought victory.
 
Decastro and his team nervously awaited the scores to be read out, whilst Ashong and his team confidently had their hands raised, but the confidence in the faces soon drained as the scores were read out – Judge Adrian Thorne, 119-108, Judge Mark Wakefield 120-108 and Judge James Ancliff 119-109 all in favour of Decastro.
 

 
Opening fight for the Professional element of the event see Jack Jones from Leeds making his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly in a four round Super Welterweight contest.
 
Jones started the contest confidently, taking the fight to Kelly and displaying some nice slick moves, much to the delight of his many fans that had travelled down the M1 from Yorkshire.
 
As the round progressed Kelly began to slowdown the ever-forward movement of the Leed’s youngster by displaying the exceptional skills that earned him a shot at the WBF international title a few years back.
 

 
Jones responded well to the test, initially countering before taking back control of centre ring with a forceful control that put the Irishman back onto the back foot.
 
Jones virtually controlled the next couple of rounds, except for short episodes where Kelly would wrestle control and test his young opponent’s metal.
 
The fourth and final round was a cracker, Jones had settled into a flow and looked to be well and truly in control of the proceedings, interrupted only by flashes of pure brilliance from Kelly, unfortunately not enough for the Irishman to prevent Jones from charging on to a clear 40-36 points victory.
 
This was my fourth visit to Derby to attend Dan Gray’s events, each has been superior to the previous, not just because of excellent genuine fifty-fifty contests that he features, or the fantastic venue, but also his dedication to making his shows a fantastic night out for the fans with additional entertainment.
 
On Saturday night the venue had a Casino theme that included Roulette and Games tables, a Magician and an awesome singer, OK I admit I was only there for the Boxing, but also have to admit I really enjoyed the entertainment too, can’t wait for his next show.

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Rising Star Pugh Back In Action This Saturday, Faces Sirajeva at Pride Park, Derby.


 
Back in April this year Emily Pugh made her professional debut, and boy oh boy did she do it in style. Emily and her opponent Jelizaveta Cerkasova, who was also making her pro debut, put on a master-class.
 
The contest was a true master-class, but not in the normal sense of the word as used within boxing circles, whereby one boxer ‘gave a master-class to their opponent’, oh no it was a true closely fought master-class of boxing full stop, one of the most enthralling boxing matches in a long, long time, one that is only matched by the even more recent ‘Fight of the Year’ nominated World Boxing Council (WBC) Atomweight World Championship contest between Emily’s fellow British & Irish Boxing Authority licensed boxer, the former WBC Muay Thai World Champion Denise Castle and WBC World Youth & International Champion Fabiana Bytyqi.
 
This coming Saturday, at Pride Park, in Derby, Pugh is set to step into the ring for her second pro bout, this time the Wolverhampton Girl is set to face Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva on the undercard of the WBL & EBL European Championship contest between Ross Doherty and Gvido Seilis and co headliner Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong PBC Commonwealth title showdown.
 
Speaking from her home earlier, Pugh said;
 
“I am very excited to get back into the ring, and more than ready.
 
“I am looking forward to boxing six rounds. I intend to win them every one of these rounds with a strong performance, in style.
 
“My professional debut seems so long ago, and I know that I can top that performance and put on a strong fight.
 
“I hope my opponent has worked as hard as me and is ready to give it everything she’s got.
 
“Thank you to everyone that has supported me, by travelling to come and watch, to Aspire Fitness who have helped prep me for this fight and my sponsor E-liquid Paradise, who this would not be happening without… thank you! I will not let any of you down.”
 
Emily Pugh versus Veronika Sirajeva is a support bout for the Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis for the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Welterweight Championships, that co-headlines with the Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
Also featured on the event is another mouth-watering all Merseyside title clash, between Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

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Kennerdale: It’s Going to be a War on Saturday Night!


 
Over the past year or so there’s been a lot of speculation, or should that be desire, about the possibility of an all Merseyside showdown between local heroes Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers.
 
Until very recently it had been just pure wishful thinking, it had been proposed on numerous occasions and failed to be made, however come Saturday night this much anticipated showdown finally becomes a reality, as promoter Dan Gray decided enough of the talking, if the fans want the fight, they should have their wishes come true and added it to the card for his upcoming event at the home of Derby County FC, Pride Park in Derby.
 
When Dan Gray first proposed the fight to Paul Peers, Peers had told him “Good luck mate, others had tried to make the match-up in the past and failed.” Not to be deterred Gray not only convinced Kennerdale’s manager Kyle Gallagher that the time was right, but also the unbeaten prospect himself.
 
Speaking from his Liverpool home Craig Kennerdale explained why he decided to take the fight now.
 
“I always knew that Paul and I would face each other one day, but always expected it to be much later on in our careers, but when Dan (Gray) dangled the carrot of making it for a title, my first title shot, I just couldn’t refuse.
 
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for so long, I’ve been around the sport since I was ten years of age and in that time every single training session, every spar and every fight I’ve ever had has been leading to this fight, I can’t wait for Saturday night, it’s my dream to win a title.
 
“I can’t help but think that this fight has all the hallmarks of being a seriously good all action fight the fans will love to watch.
 
“I believe styles make fights, the difference in our styles, as well as the way we approach fights make this a very interesting match-up. It’s going to be a war on Saturday night.
 
“Like most boxers on the Liverpool circuit, I know Paul’s ability and believe me I’m not taking anything lightly, he’s a good technical boxer with a strong amateur pedigree.
 
“I’m unbeaten in the pros and believe me I don’t intend on losing my ‘0’ anytime soon.
 
“Although I have respect for Paul, I’m here to win. I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m hitting harder and faster than ever before and because of that I have every confidence that it will be me that lifts the belt come fight night.
 
“Respect to Paul Peers and may the best man win!”
 
Craig Kennerdale versus Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title supports co-headliners Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis World Boxing League and European Boxing League European Welterweight Championships contest and Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

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Doherty in Confident Mood Ahead of European Title Shot, Against Seilis This Coming Saturday


 
Derby’s unbeaten Welterweight prospect Ross Doherty appears in confident mood ahead of his first Championship contest, against Latvian Gvido Seilis this coming Saturday, the 29th September, on the Dan Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby.
 
Doherty has been mighty impressive, since bursting on to the professional scene, with a solid points victory over Belfast’s Marty Kayes back in September 2016, which he followed up with a series of solid points victories over the past two years, culminating in a sensational performance, and yet another shutout points victory, against another tough Latvian, Grigorijs Dunecs, in an eight rounder back in April this year.
 
It was this particular performance against Dunecs that led promoter Dan Gray to decide it was time for his charge Doherty to step up and challenge for Championship honours, as such on Saturday night, Doherty and his opponent Seilis are set to go toe-to-toe for both the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Welterweight Championships.
 
Speaking earlier, Doherty said,
 
“I’m really looking forward to this fight,
 
“My training camp has gone very well, Dan Gray pushed me to my limits in training as well as arranged some seriously top class sparring for me.
 
“My opponent has changed, I don’t know too much about Gvido Seilis, other than he seems a very tough lad. Would normally have video footage of the opponents fights in plenty of time, which helps in us to adapt to the opponent’s style, however not the case this time, but we’re not worried, the camp was that good.
 
“We know we are up against it, but I’m feeling confident I’ve got what it takes to do what is needed to bring those title belts home.”
 
Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis for the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Welterweight Championships, co-headlines with the Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
Also featured on the event is another mouth-watering all Merseyside title clash, between Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

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Peers Prepares to Face Kennerdale In All Merseyside English Title Clash


 
There’s nothing quite like a local Derby, whether Football or any sport but especially Boxing, to get the fans salivating and when it’s an all Merseyside clash it is without doubt the most mouth-watering of them all.
 
On Saturday 29th September, on neutral ground at Pride Park in Derby, the home of Derby County Football Club, life-long Everton fan Paul Peers will step into the ring against fellow Merseysider and staunch Reds fan Craig Kennerdale.
 
Adding extra spice to the contest, if being a Merseyside Derby wasn’t enough; there will be a Title Belt at stake, the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight Championship.
 
Speaking from his new home in the Orkneys, Peers made it clear he wasn’t just coming to make up the numbers.
 
“I’m really looking forward to this fight, it’s one that could and should have happened last year.
 
“We’re both from Liverpool, there’s no two ways about it the depth of talent in the city is growing all the time. Liverpool has produced so many Champions over the years, everything from English to World Champions, hopefully after the 29th my name will be added to the long, long list.
 
“I have every intention of boxing at my very best as I try to win this English title, as will Craig.
 
“I’ve seen that Craig is right up for this, he looks even faster now than when I see his training videos. That shows he’s fit and he’s ready, which makes for a good fight, as so am I.
 
“It will be storming fight, expect fireworks on the night, there’s so much a stake, not just bragging rights, I want that belt around my waist.”
 
Craig Kennerdale versus Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title supports co-headliners Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest and Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis World Boxing League and European Boxing League European Welterweight Championships bout on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

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Decastro Fires Warning Shot Across Ashong’s Bow Ahead of Commonwealth Title Clash on 29th September.


 
Unbeaten Super Middleweight prospect Nathan Decastro (13-0-0 (11 by way of KO)) vows “No one can stop me on my journey”
 
Bardley. Lincolnshire’s Decastro is set to face two time African Champion Agoe Ashong (11-1-0 (6 by way of KO)) for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship, on the Dan Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on the 29th September 2018.
 
Decastro, who is ranked #9 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Intercontinental ratings, was originally due to go toe to toe with Ashong back in July on the undercard of the McAllister versus Williams WBU Heavyweight World Title clash headed event in Aberdeen, however due to delays in the African Champion receiving his visa in time, Decastro instead had to settle for a non-championship eight rounder against David Okai.
 
Decastro came through the test against Okai with flying colours with a first round stoppage victory, his eleventh TKO victory in thirteen outings.
 
Late in August Ashong’s visa situation was finally sorted thanks to the intervention of the Secretary of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes MP and James Snowdon and his team at the Home Office, making it possible for this mouth-watering 50/50 title clash to finally take place.
 
Earlier today Decastro spoke briefly about the upcoming fight Ashong.
 
“I am so pleased to get the opportunity to fight for the PBC Commonwealth title and really excited for this fight, especially after the disappointment of his visa issues last time, therefore not making the scheduled fight!
 
“That’s behind me now and it’s all sorted, I’m going to make a big statement next week and show I really mean business and deserve my IBF ranking and a shot against any of those ranked above me for the vacant IBF Intercontinental title.
 
“Agoe Ashong is a quality fighter and that’s proven with his record 11-1 and the two African titles he’s won, but for me to progress towards world titles and improve my ranking with IBF I need to be winning in great style.
 
“I’ve been promised a huge fight in December, by my manager Lee McAllister as long as I win on the 29th, which I fully intend to do.
 
“I would just like to thank my traveling supporters and also my team and Sponsors: Bracebridge Boxing Club, Tudor Building and Roofing, Flawless Landscaping and construction, Aesthetics by Megan, GA Luxury Breaks, Get The Edge UK, SMT2U, Sam Vickers my S&C coach and Craig Barton my nutritionist!
 
“I’m in a great place right now and feel like no one can stop me on my journey”
 

 
Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship, co-headlines with the Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis World Boxing League and European Boxing League European Welterweight Championships contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
Also featured on the event is another mouth-watering all Merseyside title clash, between Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

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Fight Report: Thomas and Dudzinski Impress on Debuts as Preece, McIntyre and McGivern Score Big Wins In Cardiff


 
Report by Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs courtesy of Thomas Jones
 
On Saturday I made the trip west from my London home to the beautiful city of Cardiff for the Owen Watkins promoted event at the Ice Arena Wales.
 
The event was due to be headlined by the much anticipated all Welsh Heavyweight title clash between Hari Miles and Dorian Darch, for the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) European Heavyweight Championship. However the fight had to be postponed as Darch was unable to take part due to a suspension he received following a fight on a different event a few weeks prior.
 
Despite this setback Owen Watkins had decided that the show must go on and I for one am pleased he made that choice, as the planned undercard featured a number of top class amateurs I have been looking forward to watching making their professional debuts.
 
First up was debuting Carl Thomas versus Kyle McNicholas in a four round Light Heavyweight Contest
 

 
Both lads started really well exhibiting their respective boxing skills.
 
As the round progressed Thomas stepped up the pressure, backing McNicholas onto the ropes and began letting rip with shots to the body and head of the Liverpudlian
 
As the round progressed into the final minute Thomas landed a cracking right to the head that shook McNicholas to the core, Thomas followed up with a left to the body followed almost immediately with a big left to the body that sent McNicholas to the canvas.
 
Surprisingly McNicholas made the count, they sure breed them tough on Merseyside, as that was a vicious body shot just below the lower rib, you just don’t see people get up after those that often.
 
On the restart Thomas went straight back on the attack, firstly firing off a stiff jab followed by another stinging left to the body and a double right to the head.
 
Thomas kept up the pressure, peppering McNicholas with a wicked body-head combination followed by another good stiff jab to back McNicholas into a neutral corner before letting rip with a sensational left hook to the body, that sent McNicholas down for a second time.
 
Referee Roger Riley began the count and as it just reached the eight count point McNicholas began to try and rise without success, leaving the referee no option but to wave the fight off just as the bell tolled to signal the end of the first round.
 
I’m pleased to say that McNicholas was perfectly OK and did get to his feet shortly after.
 
My final thoughts on this particular fight are; it may have only lasted one round but what a cracking round it was.
 
Next up see Kacper Dudzinski making his pro debut against Belfast’s Michael Kelly in a four round Super Welterweight contest.
 

 
Right from the off Dudzinski got behind his seriously strong jab and began controlling the proceedings with fast hands and stiff double jabs.
 
Kelly is no mug, not by a long shot, he’s as savvy as they come, but even he had to concede to taking a defensive stance and patiently wait for any opportunity, no matter how slender, to counter, which to be honest were few and far between.
 
Dudzinski seriously impressed against Kelly and has a fantastic future in the sport.
 
It may have been his debut, but based on his performance on Saturday night, against a former genuine title challenger, I reckon he’ll go all the way to the top and deserves it too, anyone who can keep Kelly on the back foot the way Dudzinski did for virtually the full four rounds is without doubt something special.
 
Don’t get me wrong Kelly landed some cracking shots but Dudzinski’s sensationally fast hand speed and superb defence kept those opportunities to the bare minimum.
 
Nice little touch from Kelly late in the final round, following a ‘matrix style’ reaction move, that almost prevented him touching a glove down, however, much to his annoyance he received a count from referee Chris Kelly, although Kelly was convinced he’d actually had avoided his glove touching the canvas, but instead of standing there and protesting he dropped down and proceeded to do push ups throughout the count to show his disapproval, much to the delight of the crowd
 
After four brilliant rounds it came as no surprise that it was Dudzinski whose hand was held aloft – the official result showed Dudzinski scoring his maiden pro victory by a 40-35 points margin.
 
Next up was Ben McGivern versus Ben Hough in a four round Cruiserweight contest.
 

 
What a fight, McGivern mainly bossing the proceedings, forcing Hough on to the back foot as well as the ropes for a good chunk of the first stanza. Hough may have been on the defensive for a good part of the first but when the opportunities arose he took them in style.
 
It was virtually a complete turnaround in Round Two, with Hough wrestling control and putting McGivern on the back foot, and ropes, similar to the way the Scot had bossed the first round.
 
The third stanza was a much closer fought affair, so much so I found it hard to split them, points wise.
 
The fourth started out more or less as the third ended, with both protagonists going for it hammer and tongs, but as the Round progressed McGivern stepped up the pace enough to not only secure the round, but also the victory.
 
After four sensational all action rounds, as I gave away above, it was McGivern that came away victorious, referee Roger Riley scoring the excellent contest 39-37 in favour of the Scotsman.
 
Following the fight both boxers agreed to a rematch, which I have been reliably informed is likely to take place in Liverpool on September 8th – put the date in your diary this is a fight no one should miss!
 
The penultimate fight of the night see Blackwood, South Wales’ Liam Preece versus very, very late replacement Pentrefoelas, North Wales’ Steffan Hughes in an all Welsh contest.
 

 
What a corker this fight was, it was an all action thriller from start right through to the final bell.
 
Considering Preece had a considerable weight disadvantage to deal with, he really went for it, taking the fight to his more experienced, and heavier, opponent.
 
Preece boxed confidently not only when on the attack but also when defending against the pinpoint accurate exocets launched by Hughes.
 
Preece was impressive throughout, and I’m sure it didn’t surprise anyone in the Ice Arena Wales when referee Chris Kelly’s scorecard was read out as a 40-36 points victory for the South Wales Lad.
 
The final pro fight of the night pitted highly rated former amateur star Port Talbot’s Levi Griffiths versus Liverpool’s Scott McIntyre.
 

 
Griffiths is so slick, the classy youngster began well and landed some stinging shots, which forced McIntyre to switch to ‘plan B’ early on in an attempt to keep on the inside to prevent the Welshman from getting his big shots off.
 
McIntyre’s plan B may not have been pretty, but boy oh boy it was highly effective.
 
After the initial ‘open’ period, which allowed the slick Welshman to achieve a good level of success, the majority of the fight could have taken place in a phone box.
 
McIntyre clearly had no intention of giving Griffiths any opportunity to let rip with any big shots, he just kept him tied up throughout, sometimes by foul means, so much so that after numerous warnings for holding or not breaking when told, referee Roger Riley deducted a point, however even that point deduction wasn’t going to prevent the Liverpool man from securing the victory, the official score being 39-36.
 
Have to say, whilst personally disappointed that the Miles-Darch WBF European title fight didn’t take place, promoter Owen Watkins had put together such a top class support card that I, as well as am sure everyone else in attendance had their Pugilistic Appetite well and truly sated by the fare on offer and look forward to his next promotion, which will take place at the Cwrt Herbert Leisure Centre in Neath on the 22nd September.

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Miles – I’m Taking Darch Into Dark Water on the 14th July.


 
Hari ‘H Bomb’ Miles is set to take on Dorian Darch in an all Welsh Heavyweight contest that headlines Owen Watkins’ inaugural Professional Boxing promotion at the Cardiff Devils Ice Rink in Cardiff on the 14th July.
 
Back in 2016 the Welsh battlers were due to face each other for the Welsh Heavyweight title, however the much anticipated title clash fell through at the last minute.
 
Miles, who returns to the Professional ranks, following a short, but sweet, soirée on the Bare-knuckle circuit earlier this year that culminated with a big win over American Josh Burns in February, spoke briefly on the upcoming clash against fellow Welshman Darch.
 
“I now Dorian very well, we have spared many of rounds over the years, I’m over the moon to be given this opportunity by Owen Watkins at Freaks of the ring promotions.
 
“Come the 14th July Wales are going to see the best Hari Miles in years
 
“Heard people mentioning Darchy’s power but that’s no good relying on if he’s hitting fresh air. I’m taking him into dark water with a skilled boxing lesson in a sold out Ice Arena Wales.”
 
The support card for the highly anticipated Miles-Darch Heavyweight clash sees a number of Welsh fighters in action, some for the first time in the pro ranks.
 
Blackwood’s Liam Preece in his second professional bout will take on Stockport’s seasoned pro Will Cairns.
 
Tontey’s Carl Thomas will be making his professional debut against Liverpool’s Kyle McNicholas.
 
Port Talbot’s Levi Griffiths will also be making his professional debut and is set to face Liverpool’s Scott McIntyre.
 
Another Wales-based fighter making his professional debut will be Bryn Uchaf’s Kasper Dudzinski, who will go toe-to-toe with Belfast’s Michael Kelly.
 
Also on the card is an all Merseyside clash between Jonny McConville and David Calveley, whilst Warrington’s Ben Hough goes head to head against Coatbridge, Scotland’s Ben McGivern.
 
Hari Miles versus Dorian Darch headlines the Owen Watkins promoted event at the Cardiff Devils Ice Rink, Olympian Drive, Cardiff on Saturday 14th July. Ticket’s are available from any of the boxers taking part or call the ticket line on 07931 293320

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