Another amazing show at Bexhill with some massive investment being placed in to the venue to make it a fantastic Sussex venue.
Report courtesy of Rian Witcomb…..
On Saturday 03rd December Bexhill ABC hosted a night of Olympic style boxing at Pebsham Community Centre. Fears of low attendance due to hosting the show at the start of the festive period were allayed as a bumper crowd gathered to support our boxers and others visiting from as far away as Bournemouth & Northampton.
The show had an impressive 14 bouts scheduled, which reduced to 13 as the opponent for Bexhill’s 10 year old debutant Brad Belcher due to box first had to pull out of the bout for medical reasons. Eager to get in the ring and impress, Brad was disappointed that he could not exhibit his skill to the coaches and his small army of supporters yet will no doubt continue to demonstrate his dedication in training and await his next opportunity.
Bout 2 was a great start to the night as Zara Aitchison (Far Cotton ABC) travelled from Northampton to take on Katie Bonnet (Westhill ABC) from Hastings. The competitive bout saw Katie from our neighbouring club Westhill outbox her visiting opponent to obtain a unanimous points decision. Bout 3 saw Bexhill’s junior Josh Cato step through the ropes against Charlie Roberts from another of our neighbouring clubs (Phoenix ABC – Eastbourne). Josh who did not appear to be his usual self put up a courageous effort against a strong opponent yet had to retire at the end of the first round leaving Roberts with a TKO victory.
Bout 4 saw Harvey Marsh travelling from Stacey ABC in Portsmouth take on Westhill’s ABC’s Gus Sully in another exciting junior bout. However, Sully from the ever dominant Westhill outclassed his opponent to take a second unanimous points decision for our neighbours. Hot on the heels of bout 4 the well supported Bexhill junior Jake Mabb took on Robert Carwithen of Littlehampton ABC in bout 5. Mabb, who was apprehensive at times put on a great display in front of the home crowd proved to be the more skilful boxer earning Bexhill its first victory of the night much to the delight of Mabb, and his supporters.
The next bout was the eagerly anticipated clash between Bexhill’s Marshall Freeman, and Sam Carr from Arena ABC in Bournemouth. Freeman who has been impressive in his last outings has a habit of putting on thrilling encounters for the crowd – and this bout was no different. Carr was an exceptionally skilful, and at times frustrating opponent for Freeman showing great movement as he taunted the Bexhill boxer at times during the bout. However, Freeman also displayed moments of greatness catching Carr multiple times when putting him under pressure, yet it was not his night as the judges awarded Carr a unanimous points decision.
In bout 7 Fraser Bell of Bexhill entered the ring for his first amateur boxing contest against Michael Cooper of Sevenoaks. Bell put on a good display against Cooper demonstrating some good moments of skill, and strength against the rangy boxer. Bell made good use of a 3 punch combination to work the head and body of his opponent. However, Bell did get caught multiple times trying to get inside his opponent, and after exerting himself throughout the first and second rounds Bell struggled with fitness and dropped his hands continually throughout the third to the dismay of the home crowd. Luckily for Bell the judges awarded him for his work in the earlier stages of the bout giving him a split decision win.
Another one of Bexhill’s regular faces Alfie James took on Connor O’Carroll from Fighting Fit, London in bout 8. This was a thrilling bout that swung both ways throughout the contest exciting the crowd. James came out on top throughout most of the clashes giving one of his best performances to take a unanimous points decision for Bexhill.
Bout 9 got started after the interval with Ellis Head from Arena ABC in Bournemouth taking on Jake Baker of Hillcrest ABC. Baker won the bout with a TKO allowing for bout 10 to proceed slightly ahead of schedule with another home boxer due to entertain the crowd. Josh Mabb of Bexhill took on Eastbourne Boxing Clubs Christopher Matthews. Mabb who has been out the gym for a while put on a good display catching Matthews with the cleaner shots throughout the bout. At times Matthews exerted his strength, yet Mabb coped well and continued to outbox his opponent showing glimpses of skill that will hopefully become more commonplace in future bouts. Mabbs work was awarded taking home another unanimous points victory for Bexhill and removing bragging rights from his younger brother who was celebrating his own earlier success.
The ever dedicated Mehmet Toprak – Bexhill, took on Jamie Gillet of Eastbourne boxing club for his first amateur boxing outing for bout 11. The straight shooting Gillet took advantage of Toprak’s first bout nerves landing several accurate shots in the first round leading to the Bexhill boxers corner having to retire their fighter despite his gallant efforts. Gillet therefore walked away with a TKO victory. A clash between friendly local rivals Eastbourne Boxing Club, and Hastings Westhill set the stage for bout 12. The close contest between Daniel Pert (Eastbourne), and Tyler Jones (Westhill) saw the Hastings club walk away with split decision, sealing a 100% record for Westhill on the night.
The penultimate bout saw another 2 big hitters enter the ring with Bexhill’s Ben Cutt’s taking on Ryan Chapman from Fighting fit. The thrilling contest saw both boxers land big shots leaving Cutt’s taking two ‘8 counts’ during the contest. With the fight looked set to go either way Cutt’s managed to take the victory for Bexhill on a split decision.
The final bout of the night was a well-received end to the night as Rafiqul ‘Shanto’ Khan of Bexhill took on old rival Harry Coleman from Phoenix in Eastbourne. In their last outing Coleman took the victory which gave Khan desire to turn the tables in this bout. Khan who has come into form over the last year put on an excellent display of boxing, confidently moving in and out of range landing some good, confident, and clear shots. However, Coleman also demonstrated excellent skill throughout the bout landing some good shots, and taunting Khan with his excellent head movement. Khan kept his cool and stuck to his game plan executing well thought out combinations. The judges awarded Khan a well-deserved unanimous points victory much to the delight of the crowd, and the ecstatic Khan.
All the committee members / coaches at Bexhill ABC would like to thank everyone who attended the event for contributing to an excellent atmosphere. The visiting boxers and coaches for their dedication, along with the officials who make these events possible. We also would not be anywhere without the support of the local businesses that have donated to our worthy cause. Hopefully this event, the demonstration of sporting achievement, and sportsmanship by those competing can provide testament to the positive impact voluntary amateur boxing clubs have on the local community.