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Decastro Stops Tetteh to Secure First Title – Kayes, Becelis, Cairns Impressive in Victory.

Nathan Decastro with BIBA Vice Chairman Jennifer Burton

Nathan Decastro with BIBA Vice Chairman Jennifer Burton

Decastro Stops Tetteh to Secure First Title – Kayes, Becelis, Cairns Impressive in Victory.

On Saturday night, at the Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire, local gym owner Russ Brown made his maiden outing as a professional boxing promoter and boy oh boy did he do it in style.

Whilst most people would start off at a small hall venue with a few local ticket sellers heading up the show, Russ Brown approached it a little differently, a full blown Arena show headed up with Championship bouts headlining, originally was due to be three, but due to last minute visa issues the main event, the World Super Bantamweight Unification contest between South Africa’s reigning World Boxing Federation Champion Gabisile Tshabalala and British #1 and current MBC International Champion Marianne Marston, had to be rescheduled so the irritating bureaucracy issue could be sorted.

With no Tshabalala-Marston World Unification bout, it was local unbeaten star Nathan Decastro, in his first title battle, against the highly experienced Championship campaigner Ishmael Tetteh, from Ghana, for the vacant MBC International Super Middleweight Championship that was elevated to headline the show.

Before I get onto the fights themselves I have to say how pleasant it was to be at an event where the entire audience welcomed each and every fighter to the ring with rapturous applause, that included Tetteh, who they welcomed in the manner a star fighter deserved and not a single jeer or boo to be heard.

However that paled into insignificance compared to the reception local star Decastro received, the sound was deafening and it seemed that each and every person in the arena was cheering on their man at the top of their voice as he made his ring walk.

The vocal support continued throughout the fight itself, with the fans ringside cheering every exchange, and believe me there were plenty as this was an exceptional all out toe-to-toe war that could have been fought in a phone box.

Young Decastro wasn’t overawed, far from it, instead he rose to the occasion and showcased the exceptional skills that belie his tender years.

Don’t get me wrong this wasn’t a one way affair, Tetteh is a tough, classy operator that gives his all for every second of every round and he was in sensational form, matching the local lad punch for punch in the early rounds.

The turning point in the contest came midway through the fourth, Decastro landed a wicked body shot that sent the Ghanaian down to the canvas. Tetteh is as tough as they come and just as World class referee Richie Davies reached the seven count made his way to his feet.

On the restart Tetteh went hard on the attack, however Decastro’s ring-craft soon came into play, spinning Tetteh so it was him with his back against the ropes and the Lincolnshire lad once more in control.

Round five was a virtual repeat of the fourth, both fighters standing toe-to toe, letting rip with huge shots to body and head right from the off. As in the previous round around the midway mark Decastro let rip with a big combination culminating with a vicious body shot to send Tetteh down to the canvas once more, this time though there was no chance that the tough Ghanaian would recover sufficiently to beat Richie Davies’ count.

The overjoyed crowd went ballistic as Decastro was presented the MBC International Championship belt by Vice Chairman, Ms. Jennifer Burton and the celebrations went on for a good forty minutes or so.

On a side note I doubt there are many times in a boxers career that they are inundated with requests of hand shakes or selfies from fans of the opposition, but Ishmael Tetteh was, even in defeat he must have felt like the champion, quite rightly so in my opinion as he gave his all throughout the contest and made this a fight to remember.

The second Championship bout was for a World Boxing Union (WBU) UK Regional title, contested by big hitting local lad Gary Silverman and Belfast’s Marty Kayes.

The height difference between the two protagonists was really noticeable, Silverman is tall, very tall, and towered over the seemingly diminutive Kayes, however the Belfast man clearly had a plan of getting on the inside as much as possible to neutralize the reach advantage of his foe and implemented it to perfection,

The Belfast man’s performance was sublime, when not on the inside Kayes’ busy movement made life exceptionally hard for Silverman.

Throughout the bout Silverman switched tactics in an attempt to give himself the space to let rip with his patented power shots, however each time he did Kayes would find a way to neutralize any advantage the Grantham lad had gained.

After eight rounds of highly entertaining boxing it came as no surprise that Richie Davies’ scorecard read 80-73 in favour of Belfast’s Marty Kayes.

Prior to Silverman-Kayes was a sensationally closely matched Cruiserweight contest between Dainius Becelis and James Higgy.

I’m a huge fan of the Cruiserweight division, mainly due to such stars as two time IBF World Champ Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham and former WBO, WBC & WBA Champion David Haye, who dominated the division back in the late noughties. In fact I love the Cruiserweights so much that a few years ago I wrote and had published the full history of the division.

Anyway that aside, on Saturday night I was overjoyed to watch two future stars of the division in action and what a closely fought contest it was.

I always hoped that one day Steve Cunningham and David Haye would fight each other as it would have been an all action affair, a true showcase for this exciting but underrated division.

Well that never happened but if it had it would have been very similar to the Becelis-Higgy bout without doubt, so you can imagine how chuffed I was to be ringside for it. Yes it was that good.

It really was a cracking, closely fought, all action affair, so much so by the start of fourth round I couldn’t separate them and honestly expected it to end up a draw, however Becelis managed to pull off a very close victory due to his performance in the final round, don’t get me wrong Higgy performed brilliantly in the fourth too, just Becelis stepped it up enough to secure the win.

Definitely Fight of the Night in my view. After four of the most exciting rounds of boxing I have seen in a long, long while Referee Matt Scriven scorecards read 39-38 in favour of Dainius Becelis – side note: the referee’s scorecards read 1st Round 10-9 in favour of Becelis, 2nd round 9-10 in favour of Higgy, 3rd round was drawn and of course round four 10-9 to Becilis.

Prior to the Becelis-Higgy bout was another closely fought contest, this time a four round middleweight bout between local lad Scott Newcombe and Stockport, Cheshire’s Will Cairns.

As with Becelis-Higgy this was another well matched all action affair that could so easily have ended up a draw, just in this case Cairns superb performance in the early rounds was enough to see him secure the bout by a single point. Referee Matt Scriven scoring it 39-38 for Will Cairns.

The second pro bout of the night see Michael Robinson take on Scunthorpe’s Andy Pirie in a Middleweight contest.

It’s proving hard for me to come up with enough superlatives as each fight on the show were superbly well matched.

As with the Newcombe-Cairns or the Becilis-Higgy bouts, this was another that could have gone either way as both warriors gave their all for every second of each and every round and it really was hard to separate them, performance or points wise, clearly not just myself as Referee Matt Scriven scored it a 39-39 draw

The opening bout of the night see Grantham’s Mickey Blackburn in action against Hyde, Cheshire’s Will O’Reilly in a four round Super Welterweight contest.

Once again the matching was spot on, and as with each and every fight on the night was a closely fought and highly exciting affair, so much so that after four enthralling rounds it really was hard to call a winner, again not just myself as Referee Matt Scriven clearly had the same dilemma as he scored it a 39-39 draw.

After the show promoter Russ Brown said.

“Other than the disappointment on not having Marianne (Marston) fight, the show was spot on.

I wanted my lads to be in competitive fights, and they were, yes I know a couple lost or drew their fights but so it goes. To my mind this is professional boxing and if they are going to make it to the top they need to have competitive fights and they did.

I’m really pleased the way the show went and would like to thank the BIBA (British & Irish Boxing Authority) officials who did a great job, especially the referees Richie Davies and Matt Scriven, who were spot on with their scoring.

Looking forward to planning the next show, believe me it will be even better.”

Have to congratulate Russ Brown and his team for not just hosting a superb event but also for the matching, It really is a breath of fresh air that a promoter doesn’t try to ‘build’ his fighters careers by having them face ‘journeymen’ for the first ten fights or so, instead preferring his lads to face proven young fighters right from the off, you just don’t see that very often these days.

Amir Khan and the BIBA Successfully Launches Pro Boxing In Pakistan – Inaugural Event Featuring British & Irish Boxers Raises 8 Million PKR For Charity.

Amir Khan and BIBA Successfully Launches Pro Boxing In Pakistan – Inaugural Event Featuring British & Irish Boxers Raises 8 Million PKR For Charity.

It may have only been 4:30 in the morning, but the heat was stifling as the Emirates A340-300, that carried the contingent of international boxers and officials from the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) that were to take part in a charity pro boxing event promoted by two Division World Champion Amir Khan just two days later, made it’s final approach into Karachi Quaid-E-Azam International Airport in Pakistan.

The pugilists and officials on-board flight EK 0604 from Dubai last Tuesday couldn’t have had the slightest inkling of the reception they were going to receive, not just on arrival but also over the following three days, if they did they hid it well.

As the group exited the plane and headed towards passport control along with their fellow passengers, a squad of security officers singled them out, and instead of joining the seemingly never ending conga of exhausted passengers, that were aimlessly shuffling between the rope barriers, they were lead to a security desk far removed from the passport control booths.

Normally this scenario would cause concern to a traveler, however from that moment on it became crystal clear to all those in the party that this was not the normal welcome an international traveler would receive, not by a long shot, this was the reception reserved only for the most important of VIPs.

After clearing passport control in record time and with the security detail flanking them the boxers and officials were greeted by the ever smiling Tahir Khan and his team from Khan Promotions and led to a convoy of awaiting vehicles.

Heading up the convoy was an army truck containing a team of heavily armed Rangers, under the command of the highly decorated Captain Abbas, and to the rear another heavily armed vehicle, this time a Police truck, again with a heavily armed squad aboard.

Once all aboard the team were escorted at high speed through the streets of Karachi to the palatial 5 Star Pearl-Continental hotel, where even though having an army and police escort each vehicle was checked thoroughly by the hotel security team.

Once clearing the security gate the BIBA team were lead into the opulent foyer, which was close to the dimensions of a premiership football pitch, where each received the key cards to their stately rooms.

Whilst some went straight to their beds for some much deserved sleep, BIBA CEO and Executive Vice President Gianluca Di Caro and World Boxing Union (WBU) Super Flyweight World Champion Tasif Khan received their media itinerary for the coming days, which started just 90 minutes later, where they were to join Amir Khan as studio guests of the highly popular radio City FM89 Morning Show host Khalid Malik, for those in the UK think Chris Evans level of popularity and double it.

Following the thirty minute segment with Khalid Malik, Amir and Gianluca were then spirited to a local TV news studio for further interviews before returning to the sumptuous Pearl-Continental for lunch.

Following lunch, Amir was joined by his father, Shah, Liverpool’s Dayle Gallagher, who was one of the boxers on the event and BIBA’s Gianluca Di Caro to be part of a thirty minute interview, hosted by the exquisite Anoushey Ashraf for her hugely popular chat show.

Just an hour or so later Gianluca and Dayle were joined by Amir’s brother Haroon ‘King’ Khan, WBU Champ Tasif Khan, Preston Cruiserweight Stuart Maddox, Belfast’s Phil Townley, World class referee Richie Davies and coach Stephen Speed in the lobby, ahead of another escorted trip across Karachi, this time for a meet and greet at the Dolmen Mall in Clifton.

None of the group could possibly have been prepared for the reception that awaited them, as literally thousands of fans crammed into the huge three level American style shopping mall, each and every one of them greeted the boxers and officials as if they were the biggest of Hollywood stars.

Once in the Greenhill prepared show ring each was inundated for requests of selfies or to pose for photos for a good thirty minutes or so before the star attraction himself, Mr. Amir Khan made his entrance to rapturous applause and cheers.

After Amir had finished his personal greeting to the assembled fans he was joined by Haroon, Tasif, Dayle and Stuart at the front table to sign autographs and pose for selfies with the fans, whilst Phil Townley, Richie Davies, Stephen Speed and Gianluca Di Caro moved around the ring posing for selfies with the overwhelmingly welcoming fans.

Once the meet and greet was over, Amir and the BIBA entourage were escorted at high speed back to the Pearl-Continental, to have a quick shower and change ahead of another special event, where Amir opened the majestic new Tai-Pan Chinese restaurant and each and everyone of the BIBA team were special guests also.

The following morning, whilst Amir and his father Shah were being interviewed live on the Geo Morning Show, BIBA Chief Inspector Stephen Smith and Scunthorpe Cruiserweight Jody Meikle had arrived at Karachi Airport, where they too received the full VIP treatment including the high speed Army and Police escort.

Shortly after lunch Amir, his team, the Boxers and BIBA officials made the short walk to the Zaver conference hall at the Pearl-Continental for the press conference.

To outside observers it must have seemed that the press conference was for the biggest of the World Championship contests, as there were so many TV crews and media in attendance as well as a host of dignitaries.

After Amir had made his presentation about the event, the Amir Khan Trust and it’s aims, he opened up the floor for questions, whilst most were about the event one of the journalists put him on the spot by asking, “as it was announced today that professional boxers can now box at the Olympics would he be representing Pakistan in Rio” Amir diplomatically answered that it would be an honour, but he has contractual obligations with his promoter to consider, before adding, that whilst he would love to represent Pakistan in Rio, that he really believes that the opportunity should be there for a young fighter, as it was such an honour when he had been presented the opportunity to compete in the Olympics for Great Britain, when he was just seventeen and that was the springboard for his professional career, as it would be for any Pakistani boxer that competed at Rio 2016.

As with every media event the BIBA contingent were treated as if they were major World stars with each being interviewed and photographed by the media.

After a quick meal Amir and the BIBA team were once more escorted at high speed by the army and police across Karachi to a public workout at Frere Hall in Clifton.

Once again there were so many media, along with thousands of fans in attendance as the boxers individually entered the ring for the workout, after which each was inundated with media interview requests and selfies with the fans.

This event was so popular that it overran by quite a margin and it would not be until just after 11pm that Amir and the fighters etc finally were escorted back to the Pearl-Continental.

With just the single media event on Thursday, as it was fight night, Amir and the boxers gathered at the elegant venue for the seriously swanky dinner event at the Pearl-Continental Marquee Conference Hall for a media photo opportunity.

The BIBA fighters, who had all been presented with team outfits courtesy of Khan Promotions sponsor Greenhill, happily posed for individual shoots as well as group photos with Amir.

After the shoot the team had a couple of hours to chill or grab a bite to eat before the big night, well most of them, as Tahir and Gianluca still had work to do.

The night started with Amir making a speech and a presentation of the Amir Khan Trust project to raise the money to build water wells in the region of Thar, an area that has been described as the poorest in the World.

Originally there were to be four professional bouts, however that was not to be as prior to leaving the UK Haroon picked up an injury. To make matters worse just days before the fight Tasif’s opponent Francis Croes tore a ligament in his arm, forcing him to pull out.

Some quick calls from Tahir see a female amateur bout, featuring two seventeen year old friends from Lyari, Saira and Ambreen being added to the bill and opening the show

Before the pro fights though the important matter of raising funds for Amir Khan Trust, firstly from donations and then through an auction of Amir’s personal belongings, such as signed shorts, gloves, paintings, posters etc

Both were a massive success, with the Amir Khan Trust receiving donations that amounted to the equivalent of twenty much needed water wells and the auction itself incredibly raising close to 8 Million PKR.

The historic first pro boxing bout to take place in Pakistan featured Liverpool’s unbeaten Dayle Gallagher against Belfast’s Phil Townley in a four round Middleweight contest. Officiating the contest was no less than World renowned Referee Richie Davies.

Right from the off the two protagonists went to war, the experienced Irishman going straight on the attack, the Liverpool youngster kept his cool and got behind his jab to keep the ever advancing Phil Townley at bay.

Dayle, initially taking a controlled countering approach, then proceeded to showcase his exceptional skills against his much more experienced opponent, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all one way traffic but the Liverpool youngster put on a sublime controlled performance that belied his tender years.

After four superb exciting rounds of boxing Referee Richie Davies declared the bout 40-37 in favour of Dayle Gallagher.

The second pro bout of the night, see Scunthorpe’s Jody Meikle in action against Preston’s Stuart Maddox in a four round Cruiserweight contest.

What an intense closely fought contest, both protagonists went at it with gusto, much of the time it could have been fought in a phone booth as they stood toe to toe slugging it out.

After four rounds of pugilistic action Referee Richie Davies scored the bout 39-36 in favour of Stuart Maddox, which whilst without doubt correct doesn’t project just how close a fight this was.

Finally singers Bilal Saeed and Adeel Chaudhry performed sensational live sets as the guest enjoyed their sumptuous dinners.

Speaking after the event, Amir Khan said

“First of all I want to say thank you to all the lads that took part, they are all winners in my eyes, flying out here to Pakistan and fighting here, even Tasif, who didn’t get to fight, as his opponent Francis Croes was injured the day before he was due to fly over, however Tasif still came here and has been part of all the build up to this big fight, because he could have stayed in the hotel and not done anything, he’s got family here in Pakistan but he said no, he wanted to stay with the team.

This is what Boxing brings, we’re like one big family, you know we all stay together.

I’m so glad I’ve done this in Pakistan, because it’s opened a new door for me to do more boxing events. I’m definitely going to do it again with BIBA, I’d love to come back to Pakistan and give Pakistan the fights they want.

Tonight’s event raised a good amount of money for a place called Thar, the reason I am doing it here is because Thar is rated one of the poorest regions in the World. The Government don’t help the place and nobody talks about this place.

Kids are dying, thousands of kids are dying every month you know there’s no clean water, it’s like a desert, we are going to provide water wells, it doesn’t cost that much but will save so many lives and that will make me so happy, so I am doing this for them. I’ve enjoyed doing the boxing event, so we can build these wells, the reason we and the boxers flew over from England is for the people of Thar.

It shows a lot of balls these fighters and officials to come over here, because the media implies that Pakistan is not a safe place to visit, but these boys have shown balls by coming and fighting here to help me to raise money for the people of Thar.

Not just that but it’s all about doing these promotional events and putting on these fights in order to introduce a new sport, professional boxing, to Pakistan. This will motivate all the kids to go to the gymnasiums and our academies, so it works in many ways.”

Amir then went on to thank the companies and individuals that got behind the historic event.

“I would like to thank HBL for being the lead sponsor of the HBL Superstar Boxing Event, IRIS Event Management, Reema Siddiqui, Omar Satti and Xenith PR for putting together such a great event, BIBA for bringing international boxers to Pakistan, The 42 – Day Challenge and Phegency PR for the public workout event, Hashoo Group, J.Fragrances, Greenhill, National, Dolmen, Red Crescent, BlueEX, Careem, City FM89, FHM and last but not least the Rangers for their support.”

Final word has to go to BIBA’s CEO & Executive Vice President Gianluca Di Caro.

“I cannot begin to express how much I admire and respect Amir, throughout the many media events not only has he given his time so freely to sign autographs or have his photo taken with the fans, but still found the time to spend an extraordinary amount of time meeting with sponsors and dignitaries to ensure the event successfully went ahead.

Amir’s passion for the project has been infectious, so much so that every single one of the boxers and officials that came over have already committed themselves to help raise further funds for the Amir Khan Trust, in fact Dayle Gallagher donated his purse for the night, Stuart Maddox has asked that £100 from each of his future purses go to the AKT and Stephen Speed is paying for one of the wells to be built, and as an organisation we are going to raise funds at every future event we sanction.

I also have to say I am overwhelmed by the reception we have received here in Karachi, I have never experienced anything like this in my life, I will treasure the memories of my time here, I have loved every second of it, I have met so many wonderful people here and have to say the fans at the Dolmen Mall and the public workout at Frere Hall were amazing.

I would like to say a very special thanks to Captain Abbas and his team of Rangers and the Sindh Police for looking after us so well on the special events away from the hotel and also Dr Muzzummil Pervaiz and the Pakistan Red Crescent, who provided the medical coverage for the team, as well as to, Arshad Nazeer and Imran Khan from the Pearl-Continental Marco Polo Restaurant and Pearl-Continental’s Director of Food and Beverages Mr. Muhammad Aslam Khan for their exceptional hospitality and introducing us to some fantastic local delicacies.

I just hope that our being here will open the door to more International sportspeople coming to Pakistan to compete, as well as hope that people from around the world come and visit Pakistan, it’s a beautiful country and the people here are so friendly and welcoming, I know I can’t wait to come back again and will do so in the near future for sure.”

For further information on the Amir Khan Foundation (UK) and the Amir Khan Trust (Pakistan) please go to

This event is sanctioned by the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA). For further information please go to

Marianne Marston Vs Gabisile Tshabalala Unified World Title Fight July 2nd



Marston to Challenge Tshabalala for Her World Crown on July 2nd

Over the past week or so the World’s press have been focusing heavily on the recently announced 9th July Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko WBO-WBA-IBO Unified Heavyweight Championships rematch. Quite rightly so, it’s a huge fight, however just one week earlier, an equally World significant unification bout is also set to take place right here in the United Kingdom.

On July 2nd, at the Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire, World #15 and British #1 ranked Marianne Marston will not only be challenging South Africa’s World Boxing Federation (WBFed) Super Bantamweight World Champion Gabisile Tshabalala for her coveted crown, but will also be aiming to secure the World Boxing Union (WBU), Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) and Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) World accolades.

London based Marston, who was originally due to challenge Unathi Myekeni for the Bantamweight version of the WBFed strap back in December, that was until Myekeni was forced to withdraw following a hand injury, is clearly relishing the belated opportunity, as she made clear when she spoke earlier.

“I cannot thank WBFed President Howard Goldberg enough for making this happen, like me he was so disappointed when Unathi (Myekeni) pulled out injured last year.

In addition to Howard, I would also like to thank WIBA President Ryan Wissow, WBU President Don Lewis and Sebastien Pitois from the UBO, as they have been so supportive throughout my career, so to also challenge for their Championships really is so special for me.

I’m forty two now, so honestly thought after Unathi pulled out, that’s it for me, I’ll never get the chance to fight for a World title, OK that’s not quite true, I could have fought for a vacant title, but to me that’s just not good enough, I want to fight the best, I want to beat the World Champion.

I’ve seen video of Gabisile, when she fought Shannon (O’Connell) in 2013, but would very much like to find any video of her when she won the World title last year. I know how much I have changed, fight wise, since 2013 so really want to see if there are any changes to her style or tactics.

From what I have seen, she’s a classy fighter, very quick hands. When she fought Shannon, she was mainly counter punching, which would suit me, but for some reason I have a feeling she will have a very different approach as a defending Champion.

Either way, this will be a great fight for the fans, there’s such a contrast in our styles and in my view it’s those differences in style and tactical approach that will make this such a great fight to watch.

British boxing is booming, we have so many World Champions at the moment, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Kell Brook, Carl Frampton, Lee Selby, Liam Smith, Jamie McDonnell, Lee Haskins, Tony Moran, Craig Docherty, Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla, James DeGale and of course my old gym mate at the TKO, Billy Joe Saunders.

Obviously they’re all men, so I want to redress the deficit a little and join them, as well as be the first British Female boxer to be crowned World Champion since Jane Couch beat Jaime Clampitt for the IWBF title in 2004.”

Gabisile Tshabalala Vs Marianne Marston for the WBFed, WBU, WIBA and UBO Super Bantamweight Unified World Championship headlines the Russ Brown promoted AS GOOD AS IT GETS event at the Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK on Saturday 2nd July.

This event is sanctioned by the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA)

Tickets: Priced £30 (Standard Seated) and SOLD OUT (Ringside VIP) are available online at and

Please show your support and follow Marianne Marston on Twitter @MarianneMarston or on Facebook and – or see her websites and

Carney, Clayton and Russo In Knockout Form at BIBA Inaugural Event

Carney, Clayton and Russo In Knockout Form at BIBA Inaugural Event

On Friday night, at the Kyle Gallagher (Fight Club) promoted event at the Devonshire House Hotel in Liverpool, the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) successfully sanctioned their inaugural event, since taking over the British and Irish operations of the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) earlier this month.

The first bout of the night, see Lee Clayton make his professional debut against two-bout veteran Thomas Murry.

The two combatants went at it hammer and tongs from the off, both men vying for centre ring with a passion. As the round progressed into the second minute Clayton began to dominate, letting rip with vicious body shots whenever the opportunity arose.

By the third minute Clayton stepped it up even further and then on around two minute thirty mark Clayton landed a peach of a body shot to send Murry down. The Mancunian lad initially attempted to rise but was clearly in a lot of pain and motioned to Referee Jimmy Byrne that he couldn’t continue and the bout was waived off at the 2 minute and 42 second mark.


Local lad Dayle Gallagher faced Belfast’s Marty Kayes in the second bout of the night. From the opening bell right through to the closing bell of the bout these two warriors battled it out much to the delight of the packed house, after four very closely fought rounds Referee Jimmy Byrne scored the bout 40-36 in favour of Dayle Gallagher, whose record now stands as 2-0


Third bout of the night see Hyde, Cheshire’s Will O’Reilly make his professional debut against Newark, Nottingham’s Vaclav Skromach.

Again another full on war from start to finish, both men giving their all for the full four rounds, as with the Clayton-Hayes bout each round was very close, in this case so close that Referee Jimmy Byrne scored the bout 39-37 in favour of debut kid Will O’Reilly.


Next up see Liverpool’s Lee Boyce against Castlerae, Ireland’s John Waldron. Another cracking all action bout.

Boyce dominated the majority of the first round, using his exceptional movement to keep the Irishman out of range, before moving forward and letting rip with clean sharp shots to body or head.

Many in attendance thought it was going to be an early finish, after Waldron was sent down following a vicious body shot in the first, but the Irishman is of much tougher stock, as proved in the second round which Waldron won.

Third and fourth rounds were full on Battle Royales with Boyce capturing one and Waldron the other, so after four sensational rounds of boxing it was clearly going to be close, so no surprise that Referee Jimmy Byrne’s scorecards showed Boyce the victor by a very close 38-37, the first round knockdown being the difference. A seriously great fight and surely a rematch in the future should be on the cards.


The fifth bout of the night saw former England Amateur star Nathan Russo making his debut against the equally talented and also debuting James McDonald.

The first minute or so of the bout was sensational to put it mildly, first one lad dominated the other and then visa versa, however as the round progressed Russo began to get major success with vicious body-shots and big lefts to the head, so much so around the two minute thirty mark Russo stepped it up even further, forcing McDonald to cover up much more than he had in the early parts of the round, then just as the bell to end the round was about to be rung Russo let rip with a huge left to the head, sending McDonald straight down and out.

Referee Jimmy Byrne realized the instant the punch landed it was a knockout and dived straight to the prone lads side to check his condition before signaling to the ringside medical team to enter the ring to attend to the injured warrior.

The crowd stood respectfully quietly, as did Nathan Russo, as the medical team went to work on the prone McDonald, but when eventually McDonald was assisted to the stool some two or three minutes later the entire crowd to a man (or woman) stood and applauded.

Although James McDonald seemed to be fully recovered, he was taken to hospital for checks to be on the safe side.


The final bout of the night see local lad Jay Carney against pro debuting Jak Johnson, from Newcastle.

Everyone was expecting this to be a serious good fight, as these two lads had fought each other previously in the amateurs, and they were to proved right.

What a first round, these two really went for it, both lads boxing beautifully throughout. Early in the second Johnson began to take control, landing some pinpoint perfect shots, Carney though is as tough as they come and weathered the onslaught and as the round progressed fought back magnificently and began to regain control.

Around the two minute thirty mark Carney stepped things up and started landing some big shots, causing Johnson to cover up, however this tactic opened up the body, which Carney took advantage of, throwing a huge body shot to send Johnson down.

As with Thomas Murry, initially Johnson tried to rise but was too winded to do so. Referee Jimmy Byrne waived the fight off on the two minute forty five second mark of the second round.


Following the event British & Irish Boxing Authority Vice President and CEO Gianluca Di Caro spoke briefly about the event.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better event to launch the British & Irish Boxing Authority, Kyle (promoter Kyle Gallagher) had put together a fantastic show, he’s without doubt one of the UK’s best promoters, his attention to detail is first class.

The venue was superb and the matching of the bouts was first class and more importantly, well to us, featured both British and Irish boxers, so we are over the moon he has chosen to be with the British & Irish Boxing Authority.

I have nothing but praise for every single fighter tonight, every single one of them fought their hearts out and put on a great show.

I am pleased to report that James McDonald is fine, but have to admit I was worried as it looked quite serious at the time, and to be honest if it wasn’t for the quick reactions of Jimmy (Referee Jimmy Byrne), John (Dr John Oates) and Chris (Trauma Medic Chris Say) and his team it could so easily have been.

With our first event done and dusted, it’s onwards and upwards. Events are coming in thick and fast, so much so that next weekend we have two events, Lee Murtagh’s event at the Aria Suite in Leeds, that will feature the pro debut of the excellent Sophie Varley as well as a full card of well matched bouts on the Friday and on Saturday Thomas Melville’s quadruple WBF title headed show at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley.”

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Fight Report: Churcher KOs Horvath To Secure WBF title as Herbert Shines In Wales.

BarrChurcherMurphyFight Report: Churcher KOs Horvath To Secure WBF title as Herbert Shines In Wales.

Lee Churcher pulled out a sensational against the odds victory over Hungarian Balazs Horvath on Saturday night to secure the World Boxing Foundation Intercontinental Middleweight title, at the Pill Millennium Centre in his hometown of Newport.

Churcher, who was World ranked some two hundred plus places lower than Horvath, dominated the bout right from the off. Working behind a good solid jab, the Newport lad enthralled the local fans with some slick combinations, to both body and head, so much so that the more experienced Hungarian soon had to result to holding tactics whenever Churcher was in close range.

The canny Welshman was having none of it though and just patiently waited for any opportunity that came his way to punish Horvath with vicious body shots.

By midway through the first round Churcher’s confidence really began to grow, after badly shaking Horvath with the aforementioned body shots, so it came as no surprise to anyone when shortly after Churcher sent Horvath to the deck.

Horvath recovered but once again resorted to holding tactics to frustrate Churcher through to the end of the round.

More of the same in round two more or less, except Churcher really started to get into a flow, catching Horvath with more vicious body shots, the Hungarian tried to cover up, before again trying to grab hold of the Welshman, Churcher is canny though and worked behind the jab again before letting rip with yet another huge right hand to send Horvath down for the second time.

The Hungarian made the count and immediately on the restart Churcher went back on the attack, but the Hungarian tried to stifle the Welshman’s attacks by attempting to grab hold again, Churcher though used this to his advantage and let rip with a huge body shot to send the Hungarian back down to the canvas.

Clearly in distress, Horvath made an initial attempt to get back to his feet before settling to be just up on one knee, the pain showing on the Hungarian’s face clear for all to see as he attempted to unsuccessfully beat the count.

Whilst it may not have been a classic, nothing, but nothing can take away from Lee Churcher the artistry of his craft and tactics throughout and of course claiming the third Championship accolade of his career, the World Boxing Foundation Intercontinental Middleweight Championship, to add to his British Masters and BBBofC Welsh Area Title.

Main support for the Churcher-Horvath Championship bout, featured a four round Super Welterweight bout between Nottingham duo Carwyn Herbert and Matt Scriven.

What a cracking fight, both combatants going at it hammer and tongs in close combat for the full three minutes of each and every round.

After the full four rounds of non-stop action referee Chris Kelly scored the bout 40-36 to the youngster Carwyn Herbert, however that doesn’t really express the closeness of each round or the full on intent of either competitor throughout.

Supporting the two pro bouts were six Wales versus England exhibition bouts, supervision courtesy of Wales Boxing. Whilst I’m not going to cover these because they were not pro, have to say the final two bouts of the six were excellent and really could have featured on any pro card and nobody would have known the difference.

Have to say plaudits must go to co-promoters Dave Murphy (Acourtier Events) and Steven Fisher (Lights Out Promotions) for digging deep into their pockets to bring both the MBC and the WBF Championship to Wales for the first time, even if it meant there wasn’t enough money in the kitty to justify a full pro show, hopefully the Welsh fans will get behind Lee Churcher so his first defense of the WBF title can also be in Newport or nearby.