THE British Lionhearts returned to winning ways tonight with a 4-1 victory over the Algeria Desert Hawks in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) at York Hall in London.
Wins for WSB debutant Jack Bateson, Ekow Essuman, Joe Joyce and a walkover for John Newell sealed the victory on a good night for the Lionhearts team who bounced-back well from recent defeats away to Morocco and Ukraine.
On his first appearance in WSB, Jack Bateson gave the Lionhearts an early lead when he beat Abdelhakaim Elbarka in the flyweight contest.
After a nervous opening round, the man from Leeds found his rhythm and consistently picked-off the Algerian to take the win on all three judges’ scorecards.
It was all-square after the lightweight contest which saw Reda Benbaziz secure a surprise win over the Lionhearts’ international boxer and former world champion, Detelin Dalakliev, to make it 1-1.
Another fine performance by Ekow Essuman pushed the British team back into the lead when he scored a unanimous points victory over Algeria’s Sofiane Tabi at welterweight to chalk-up his second win of the season. It means the Nottingham man is unbeaten in WSB and he once again showed himself to be well suited to the five round format with an exhibition of powerful punching and superb fitness.
A walkover in the light-heavyweight contest, as Algeria’s Nabil Kassel was unable to make the trip to face John Newell, made it 3-1 and gave the British team an unassailable lead on the night.
It was left to the Lionhearts super-heavyweight, Joe Joyce, to end the night in style as he secured a TKO over Mohammed Grimes of the Desert Hawks after the referee stopped their contest in the third round.
The victory was Joyce’s second stoppage of the season and takes his overall WSB record to nine wins and one defeat over the last three seasons.
The British Lionhearts’ Head Coach, Rob McCracken, said: “This was a relatively inexperienced team so to secure a 4-1 victory is a very good performance by the boxers. It was great to see Jack win on his debut and both Ekow and Joe continued their good form so there are lots of positives to take from the evening.”
Next–up for the Lionhearts are two daunting away trips to Russia (13 February) and Cuba (20 February).