The Queensbury Boxing league took over the Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saturday evening for its sellout first promotion of 2011, and Showdown treated the capacity crowd to an amazing evening of boxing entertainment with 12 exciting bouts of Queensbury action. Featuring a crop of new fighters to the league and a host of established names the evening kicked off with the Heavyweight encounter between debutants Ian Garwood and Johnny Windmill. Both fighters were making their first competitive appearances at the event, and it was Gardwood that took the spoils claiming a first round stoppage much to the delight of his travelling supporters.
In the second contest of the evening Super Middleweight first timers Ronnie Ward and Jack Richardson went toe to toe for three pulsating rounds of boxing to produce one of the fights of the evening. At the end of the contest the general consensus at ringside was that Ward had done enough to take the decision, but the three judges at ringside scored the contest a majority draw leaving the door open for a possible rematch somewhere down the line. In action during the third contest light heavyweight’s Shaun Chaloner and Ryan Walsh battled it out over three very close rounds of boxing, but it was Walsh’s slicker skills and elusive defence that swayed the judges to grab the unanimous points victory. Returning to the league after his impressive debut Danny Edwards from the Fighting Fit gym in Banbury put on a terrific performance against the more experienced Connor Mclean from Urban Boxing in London during their Heavyweight tussle. Edwards started the contest well shading the first round of action and in the second round McLean found his rhythm and started to connect more frequently. But in round three Edwards was stunned by a number of shots and although he protested, referee Billy Aird had seen enough to stop the bout handing the victory to Mclean.
A contender for fight of the night saw Lee Dalglish up against Rodney James in a highly entertaining welterweight affair that had the crowd transfixed during the entire 3 rounds of boxing. Dalglish entered the contest off the back of an impressive win in November when he outclassed Bournemouth’s Steve Brazier, and he showed flashes of that same brilliance against James over the course of the contest. To James’s credit he was always in the contest and made the fight extremely close, but it was Dalglish who got the nod and moves closer to a British title chance in the league. Making their first competitive appearance in a boxing ring during the light heavyweight encounter in bout number six, Mike Bristow and Sam Birkett fought a grueling three round battle that saw later emerge victorious. Birketts superior reach and timing proved the decisive factor as the shorter Bristow struggled to get inside the longer reach of his opponent., and as the contest wore Bristow found it impossible to cut the distance down giving the victory to a delighted Birkett.
Another debutant to the league Tom Knight produced a classy performance during his debut against the granite chinned Steve Cyster from Hastings to claim a comfortable points decision. Knight kept the contest long using his superior jab to pepper Cysters face before unloading some vicious looking right hands that would have stopped most opponents. The contest followed a similar pattern throughout all three rounds of action and it was clear at the final bell whose hand was going to be raised. But credit should also go to Cyster who fought like a warrior during all three stanzas and made the contest highly enjoyable. In one of the most anticipated bouts on the card it was the battle of Croydon as Rob Wilson and Nigel James went to battle over three very exciting rounds of boxing. Wilson came into the bout after his devastating knockout victory of Josh Mackley back in November, and it would be hard to imagine that any Light Heavyweight in the league would have relished the chance to face off against the fearsome puncher.
But James who also recorded an impressive stoppage victory last time out stepped up to the plate and put on the performance of his life to take the victory. Throughout the contest James kept a watertight guard blocking all of Wilson’s bombs, and admitted after the contest that after witnessing Wilson’s last performance there was no way he was going to let his chin see the light of day. Also in action in the Super middleweight division Dave “BadBoy” Bennett put his undefeated record on the line against the aggressive Justin Lee from Hasting’s. Lee making his Queensbury debut proved a tough nut to crack and frustrated Bennett throughout the proceedings, and at the end of the contest the three judges were unable to separate the fighters declaring the contest a draw and leaving the door open for a possible rematch down the line.
Bout number ten on the Showdown bill featured the first of the title encounters when the current undefeated Queensbury British Middleweight champion Jimmy Mizon put his title on the line against London’s Fatjon Gola. Mizon came into the contest promising a decisive performance, and with just under a minute gone in the bout Mizon’s relentless pressure proved to much for the outgunned challenger forcing referee Billy Aird to wave the contest off with Gola in no condition to continue. In the penultimate bout on the show Mitcham’s Lee Cannon faced off against late replacement Stuart Goodwin in an intriguing clash in the Queensbury Welterweight division. In a very competitive match it was Cannon who proved to have the edge in work rate and skill to take a unanimous points decision and move a step closer into title contention in the league this year.
Featuring in the top of the bill attraction for the vacant Queensbury British Light Middleweight title Roundshaws Lewis Pinto won the title in an ill-tempered affair against Bognor’s Kid Bucko. From the opening bell the contest never reached the expectations of the capacity crowd and both fighters were warned for repeated infringements that could have seen either one of the boxers thrown out of the contest. With round four only a minute old and the contest descending into chaos referee Billy Aird who had repeatedly warned Bucko for his persistent use of the head stopped the contest and disqualified the Bognor stylist handing victory to Pinto in an unsatisfying end to the contest.
With the event proving to be a massive success and the crowd eager to experience more from the UK’s premier boxing league April 30th looks set to be another exciting line up of boxing when the league returns to the Effingham Park Hotel for its second promotion of the year when Collision Course is unleashed.