Review And Results Newport Centre October 27th
It was a case of will overcoming skill at the Newport Centre on Saturday night, as Trelewis Lightweight Gavin Gwynne announced himself to a red hot domestic 9st 9 division. It was the main event of what turned out to be a quite brilliant night of professional boxing put on by Sanigar Events.
We had shocks, the long awaited return of a world class operator plus an electric Welsh Welterweight title fight
Gwynne and the confident Byron Mills from Derby met in a “champion v Champion” British eliminator that would see the victor be in position to fight the likes of Scotty Cradle and Lewis “Sandman” Ritson. A fair bit of needle had crept into the fight, as both were introduced to a highly enthusiastic crowd. Gwynne who is huge at the weight took his position in ring centre as Mills skated around the ring in a relaxed manner while looking for sharp counter punches. It seemed to be the Englishman who settled first as he targeted Gwynne with a dangerous looking right hand counter that he combined with elusive movement. Round 2 was a good one for Mills has he switched stances and had success with a right hook that seemed to cause an abrasion by Gwynne’s left eye. Implored by Master trainer Tony Borg to “up the tempo” Gwynne finally seemed to get into his rhythm and despite taking an accurate uppercut from Mills ,used his size and renowned engine to Bully his opponent and score repeatedly along the ropes. Gwynne’s boxing brain and game plan really began to pay dividends by the end of round 5 as his jab began to set up power punches and combinations that gave Mills very little to counter off. The English corner seemed unable to incorporate a plan B and shots that had got through for their man earlier, were taken on Gwynne’s arms and elbows. Gwynne appeared to be pulling away with the fight as rounds 7 and 8 were banked based purely on work rate and punches landed. Mills had periods of success later on but you just had the feeling Gwynne could have kept up the frightening pace all night long. Mills had picked up facial damage and deep down must have known he’d not done enough work to win the fight despite loud protests from his animated cornermen. Gwynne deservedly took the unanimous verdict passed on from judges Mark Lyson (96-94) John Latham (96-94) and Mr John-Lewis 97-93.
Excellent performance from “Double G” and how great would it be the see him in a British title fight in Wales sometime soon. Gwynne moves his record to 10-0 and weighed 9st 7 while Mills drops to 12-1 and weighed 9st 8.
The return of multi talented world class Flyweight Andrew Selby almost went unnoticed beforehand as the laidback Welshman prefers to let his skills do the talking, rather then calling out opponents on social media. There is simply no fighter on the planet that can do what Selby can in a prizefighting ring. Credit must go to Tanzanian Adam Yahaya for taking the thankless task of testing Selby. He brought in a record of 18-4-1 that had been solely built up in his home land. The fight was scheduled for 6 rounds but Selby wasn’t in the mood to get rounds in is belt as he punched on his Afriavn opponent immediately. Right hands, left hooks, body shots all landed on the bamboozled African with alarming regularity.
Round 2 didn’t get any better for him as Selby demonstrated a ruthless streak backing Yahaya up and thankfully bringing in the intervention from Referee Mr Jones who saw little point in the one sided beating continuing. Selby looked like he’d never been away and may well target Division leader Christofer Rosales, who of course has already been beaten convincingly by Andrew. Selby weighed 8st 3 on the night.
Theres nothing more appealing for a boxing fan in my opinion, then a 50/50 domestic title fight. Sanigar once again delivered here, as both Tony Dixon and Keiran Gething stepped up to contest the vacant Welsh title at Welterweight. Dixon held the edge in experience with his 10-2 record compared to Gething’s 6-2-1. However Gething has been improving all the time while Dixon has suffered from periods of inactivity in his boxing career.
Both men had brought plenty of fans as Referee John Latham signalled the start of the contest. Both men have excellent jabs, but it was Dixon who had the early edge finding his range and perhaps taking the opening round after scoring with a couple of right hands. It was Dixon who was considered the harder puncher beforehand, ironically though it was Gething who landed the first power shot of the fight, a right hook that momentarily seemed to buzz Dixon. Both men began to trade and the round ended with both most definitely respecting each others power. The expected Tony Dixon assault didn’t come though as the Mountain Ash man began to use textbook jabbing and moving to claim the 3rd round. The 4th followed a similar pattern until a right hook from Dixon punctuated his new found superiority by sending Gething down to the mat.
The Pontypool Welterweight recovered very quickly but didn’t seem to quite have an answer to Dixons game plan of working behind a flawless left jab. Gething struggled to get close in rounds 6 and 7 yet came out for round 8 with a spring in his step which is great testament to his fitness and conditioning. Dixon seemed to take his foot of the gas momentarily as Gething dominated the round, scoring with a vicious right hook to the body. Its not always clear what the judges are looking for in a fight, Dixon was still having clear success with his jab yet Gething was getting closer to his opponent round by round. Dixon went for it in round 10 and began to trade with Gething to finish out the contest. Yet another great fight for the coveted Welsh title would be decided by Referee John Latham. Dixon became a two time Welsh champion as he collected a 96-95 points win from Mr Latham.
Tremendous credit to Keiran Gething also, who will certainly be back in the ring, maybe for a rematch which would go down incredibly well. Dixon moved to 11-2 , whilst Gething drops to 6-2-1
A huge shock occurred on the undercard as Cardiff’s Olympic Silver Medalist Fred Evans was stopped inside 2 rounds.
Experienced double central area champion Ryan Toms from Middlesex was very much up for the win and was in no way intimidated by Evans’s noted skill level. The opening round started well for Evans, has he stayed in the pocket and traded more then he had in his previous fights. Both men were open and it was Evans who visited the canvas first early in round 2, from a well timed Southpaw left from Toms. The Englishman sensed the end and stepped up the pressure, dropping Evans again with another left hand.
To Evans credit he displayed an iron jaw as Toms began to land heavy shots at will. A final left hand sent Evans staggering into the ropes prompting referee Lyson to signal the end at 2-07 of the second round. A big setback for Evans who has not yet said whether or not he will continue to fight. He weighed 11st 8 and now has a 5-1 ledger.
Another Cardiff fighter, Light Heavyweight, Nathan Thorley fared better despite the level of opposition to be very soft indeed.
Ceratinly the performance of Latvian Jevgenijs Andrejevs was no fault of Thorley’s has he put paid to the Eastern European visitor in round 2. Thorley was looking forward to showing the skills he has picked up alongside famed Welsh trainer Gary Lockett. Thorley used his height and reach well as he usually does ,while avoiding getting involved with Andrejevs who was pulling all manner of bizarre moves including ducking very low with his head. The writing was on the wall as Thorley began to put his shots together in the second round. Referee Mr Jones waved the fight off as the Latvian began to sag along the ropes. Thorley moves to 12-0 and cements his position as a top 10 domestic light heavyweight.Potential fights with the likes of Josh Buatsi and Anthony Yarde could be Team Thorley’s next port of call.
Geraint “Magic man” Goodridge also got a 4 rounder on the he faced the tricky awkward Victor Edagha.
Goodridge wears his heart on his sleeve and promised to put on a show with new trainer Darren Wilson in his corner. There is a reason Edagaha has only been stopped 3 times in 44 fights. The London based Italian managed to avoid most of what Goodridge threw in the opening round. The Port Talbot man must have earnt the opening round based on front foot aggression which resulted in Edagha coming out of his shell in the second. Edagha landed a right hand which was the best punch of the Goodridge continued to press forward at all times. Fighting a noted survivor must have been so frustrating for Goodridge has he struggled to pin down the visitor at times. Edagha saved his best round for last as he landed numerous punches with both hands. Referee for the bout John Latham could not seprate the combatants as he posted a 38-38 scorecard that many felt was harsh on Geraint Goodbridge. Goodridge weighed 11st 7 and now as a record of 2-5-3
Kristian Touze. The Southpaw featherweight was looking to get back to winning ways following a disputed draw with Alec Bazza last time out. Opponent for Touze was the well travelled Leeds Journeyman Russ Midgley. The pattern of the fight was established early as Touze boxed on the back foot picking off Midgley as he advanced. Touze dominated early on, and incorporated some tidy body punching to his Arsenal in the second round. Midgley shook his head in defiance and attempted to make the fight as scrappy as he could. Touze’s right hook scored at will but Midgley remained undeterred. A right hand of his own troubled Touze ,as did numerous infringements of the rulebook. Touze was visibly angry as the latest misdemeanour from Midgley opened up a nasty looking cut alongside his left eye. Touze duly used his smarts to stay on the outside and earnt a shutout 40-36 win from Referee Jones.
As previously mentioned the original main event for the Commonwealth Super Bantamweight title fell through which left Ash Lane settling for a routine 4 rounder against Same day Substitute opponent Ricky Leech. It couldnt have been easy for Lane to stay motivated, but to the Bristolian’s credit he remained professional throughout in collecting a 40-37 decision over journeyman Leech. The first round was perhaps the round that was shared as not a lot of action took place. Lane showed his superior ability in the second as he began to work Leech over to head and to body. Leech earns his money though as he covered up well and looked untroubled by the shots that were catching him. Lane ended the fight very well and will be hoping his efforts in training will get rewarded with some kind of title shot. Lane weighed 9st 4 for the bout, with Leech coming in at 9 st 5
The three fighters set to make their debuts on the show unfortunately dropped to two when North Wales’s Sion Yaxley’s opponent failed a pre fight medical inspection.
The fight between Bridgend’s Robbie Vernon and Barry’s JD Jones did go as planned but was almost over before it started. Vernon who has been perfecting his craft at Tony Borg’s St Joseph’s gym in Newport, entered the ring in tremendous shape and immediately went on the offensive.
Jones who had ex world champion Steve Robinson in his corner was caught cold and had little answer to Vernon’s offence. He was halted on his feet by Referee Mr Lyson after shipping too much punishment.
Vernon brought a sizeable fanbase to Newport and is definetly one to keep an eye on. Jones drops to 0-3 and weighed 10st 7 While Vernon also weighing 10st7 goes to 1-0.
Risca’s Jake Tinklin, a well known figure on the Welsh Amateur scene, who put on an excellent showing which bodes well for his future journey in the pro ranks.
Tinklin, with former world champion Gavin Rees in his corner, displayed skills that are not often seen until much further on in a boxing career. Tinklin’s opponent on the night from Cathan was Ricky Rose, who turned pro in 2014 and brought a record of 3-9-1 to the ring. A debutant often rushes their work early on, but this was not the case with Tinklin who started behind his jab, sensibly scoring and avoiding any counters from Rose. Tinklin upped the tempo in the next two rounds and mixed in his right hand which was proving to be very effective. It was that shot that took a comfortable looking Rose unaware and dropped him heavily in the final round. Tinklin looked to claim a stoppage win on his debut, yet Rose managed to make it to the end of the fight.Referee Chris Jones gave Tinklin a deserved 40-35 points win and the latest addition to the Welsh professional ranks rightly celebrated afterwards with family and friends. Tinklin weighed 10st 3 to Roses’s 10st 2.
So brought and end to a great night of boxing at Newport Centre. Tremendous credit goes to Sanigar Events who had to deal with the loss of the title fight between Ash Lane and Robbie Turley. The crowd in attendance and viewers watching on S4C witnesses everything from Shocks, displays of tremendous heart and determination and the thrilling return of a certain Andrew Selby.
Article by Michael Ward
Photo Credit Jon Scriven