WITH a defence of his Commonwealth super-flyweight title shelved due to the visa problems of his prospective opponent, Sheffield’s Tommy Frank was forced to settle instead for a scheduled 10-rounder at Ponds Forge against Tanzanian John Chuwa.

A couple of months earlier Chuwa had completed that very distance in Glasgow before being unanimously outpointed by home favourite Ross Murray.

Early doors and in the face of some heavy incoming, it seemed the African might just go the way of Ghana’s Ekow Wilson (see below) when three right uppercuts prior to a follow-up downstairs in the third had him in trouble. He was counted by referee Mike Alexander when only the ropes prevented him going down in a neutral corner and did well to see out the remainder of the session as Tommy stormed forward in search of victory.

One of Chuwa’s boots curled up so much at the toe it appeared to have been borrowed from Ali Bongo’s shoebox, but to his credit he dug deep, bit down on his shield and proved an awkward and game foe. He finally capitulated, crumpling in his own corner under fire with 73 seconds of the seventh remaining.

Frank was presented with the Brendan Ingle memorial trophy following his win.

Less than half a minute had elapsed of the Commonwealth featherweight title eliminator between Barnsley’s always popular Josh Wale and Ghana’s Ekow Wilson when I turned to fellow BN scribe Ashley Ball and opined that his former schoolmate at Wath Comprehensive was on for a very early night if he kept going to the body of the African.

Hardly Nostradamus, but one of my better predictions as those body shots duly proved the undoing of the man from Accra who, with 19 seconds of the opening stanza remaining and down on all fours in a neutral corner, showed no interest of beating the count of Doncaster referee Howard Foster.

It was the sixth first-round victory of Wale’s 13-year career.

There was a shock of sorts in the four between one-bout Sheffield novice Keanen Wainwright and Estonia-based Russian Boris Shikunov.

The visitor was an unknown quantity with just a single victory to his credit in five previous outings, but proved a real tough cookie. With victory already in sight he made sure in the last by sending the local to his knees.

Howard Foster, scoring from ringside for Leeds trialist Andy Brook, had it 39-36 for Shikunov, giving Wainwright the second.

No promotion it seems these days is complete without its share of Spanish-based Nicaraguans and this one proved no exception, three of them providing the opposition here. As is seemingly stipulated they all went the distance before succumbing on points.

Chief amongst them this time was Oscar Amador, who had no real answer to the problems set for him by Huddersfield’s former British super-lightweight champ Tyrone Nurse, a runaway 60-54 winner for Mike Alexander.

Relaxed and seemingly enjoying himself throughout Tyrone, who switched stance periodically, turned in a classy performance in his first outing since signing with promoter Dennis Hobson. He varied things nicely, used the angles particularly well and restricted Amador, who was being given a steady beating, to very few opportunities to reply.

In a four against bearded Steel City operator Sufyaan Ahmed, gritty Jose Aguilar contributed sufficiently enough to keep it interesting before going down 39-37, Mike Alexander scoring in favour of the John Fewkes-trained puncher from ringside for Mr Brook.

The same combination was in action for the four which resulted in Bredbury’s Filipino-born Irvin Magno, back from a lay-off approaching two years, rightly winning all four rounds against Michael Isaac Carrero, whose loss was the 50th of his paid career to date.

One-fight Derbyshire novice Cory Hardy looked like he thought he’d done enough to nick a decision in the four-round show-opener against Walsall’s Kearon Thomas, who similarly had had just the one outing in the paid ranks. But Hardy was forced to settle for a share at the finish with Mr Foster rewarding the West Midlander for his slightly busier finish and turning in a card reading 38-38. 

Sheffield feather Kane Salvin rounded off proceedings with a four against Liverpool trier Ricky Starkey and deservedly took the 39-37 win (Mr Foster scoring for Mr Brook) at the culmination of bout that saw heads bash fairly regularly.

The Verdict A bit of everything at Ponds Forge – two inside-the-distance bill-toppers, an away win and a draw too.

Tommy Frank (114lbs 3oz), 11-0 (3), w rsf 7 John Chuwa (114lbs), 17-4 (9); Josh Wale (125lbs), 28-11-2 (14), w ko 1 Ekow Wilson (123 1/2lbs), 18-4 (16); Tyrone Nurse (152lbs), 36-6-2 (7), w pts 6 Oscar Amador(150lbs), 10-20 (1); Irvin Magno (140lbs 2oz), 5-3-1 (1), w pts 4 Michael Isaac Carrero (144lbs), 13-50-6 (6); Kane Salvin  (129lbs 2oz), 3-0, w pts 4 Ricky Starkey (126 1/4lbs), 2-14-2; Cory Hardy (164lbs), 1-0-1, drew pts 4 Kearon Thomas (167 1/2lbs), 0-1-1; Sufyaan Ahmed (129 1/4lbs), 2-0, w pts 4 Jose Aguilar (127lbs 3oz), 16-62-5 (6); Boris Shikunov(138lbs 10oz), 2-2-2, w pts 4 Keanen Wainwright (136lbs 7oz), 1-1 (1).