CANNOCK businessman Scott Murray has plans to make his Bar Sports venue “the home of Midlands amateur boxing,” reports Matt Bozeat. Murray, who twice beat 1998 ABA super-heavyweight finalist Dean Redmond in his 108-bout amateur career, has offered his club as a venue for local clubs and hopes to stage 20 shows throughout the season. In addition, Murray, whose three teenage sons box for Pleck ABC, is bringing three England internationals to the Staffordshire town by the end of the year.
In the first, Wales beat England 8-7 in front of a good-sized crowd on a Sunday afternoon. The match was decided by the 15th and final contest, a unanimous points win for seasoned international Helen Jones over Alexandra Richards, making her England debut at the age of 27 in the only senior bout of a well-matched show that produced seven split verdicts.
Fast-fisted Jones pumped out quality combinations down and up to win the opening two rounds without ever discouraging Richards and midway through the last, the English woman had her best moment.
She crashed a right hand off Jones’s jaw that made her hold. Jones got on the back foot until the final bell.
Luke Rodda had got England off to a winning start, boxing beautifully at times in the first and third rounds to outpoint Codey Jones, before Wales won the next five matches.
There were victories for Mickey O’Sullivan, Saad Abdulla, Harvey Williams, Scott Richards and John Murphy.
Frank Varey, quarter finalist at the European Junior Championship earlier this year, dragged England back into the match with a unanimous points win over Harry Williams.
Varey was as flashy as might be expected of a fighter who wears bright pink socks and gold boots. He produced a lot of quality work with his left hand, showed a good variety of punches – and also proved he could fight. At the bell to start the second, Williams really tore into Varey, who stood his ground and unloaded to drive the Welshman back.
There was another ferocious exchange at the start of the third and again, Varey got the better of it.
The next bout was the best of the afternoon, a split points win for England southpaw Nelson Birchall over Romeo Costa.
The shorter Birchall countered smartly off the front foot to win the opening round and handed Costa a count early in the second. Costa ended the session on the front foot and both took counts in a dramatic final round.
Costa was fuming after being given a count early in the session and to prove he wasn’t hurt, he let go a furious barrage on the resumption that led to Birchall taking a count.
There was no further drama and Birchall ended up a worthy winner.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
BOXING legend Dick McTaggart received a lifetime achievement award at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards.
The 1956 Olympic gold medallist, one of the finest amateurs in British history, received the award at a ceremony on October 3.
“Dick McTaggart is a sporting icon and arguably the greatest amateur fighter in the history of British boxing,” Boxing Scotland chief executive Fraser Walker said. “He put Scottish boxing on the map with his famous gold medal win at the Olympic Games in 1956 and he has continued to inspire generations of young boxers for more than 60 years.
“His achievements in the sport are unrivalled and it is fitting that he is recognised for his incredible contribution to boxing with this Lifetime Achievement Award.
“On behalf of Scottish Boxing, I would like to pay tribute to Dick and congratulate him on this tremendous accolade.”
ENGLAND WIN IN SCOTLAND
ENGLAND did take a 6-2 dual match win in Glasgow on September 29 when a team of Junior and Youth boxers took on Scotland at the Kings Park Hotel. Spennymoor’s Macy Gallone won the prize for best boxer on the show. She was victorious along with Lily Henderson (Tommy Coyle), Ted Jackson (St Paul’s) and Leon Harris (Wearmouth). Wildcard’s Rebecca Unsworth and Hoddesdon’s Kyle Quinn lost out on tight spilt decisions but wins for Hoddesdon’s Alex Head and Epic Golden Gloves, Newark’s Danny Steele made sure of the overall victory.