A FLAVOUR of Las Vegas came to Chichester as St Gerards Boxing Club and Chichester Priory Rotary Club teamed up for their spectacular black-tie boxing dinner show.
Haddow Electrical supplied a professional lighting rig as Chichester College staged the fourth annual event raising money for local youth organisations and worthy charities.
There were ten contests and first up for St Gerards was 12-year-old Holly Heffron, making her debut against Polly Phillips, an 11-year-old from Thames Valley. The contest was nip and tuck with Heffron losing on a split decision.
St Gerards’ Freddie ‘Dazzling Hayes, aged 13, was up against Ollie Cook of Stacey Boxing Club in Portsmouth. This was another three-round affair and was a cracker which ended in Hayes notchin another fine win with a points decision.
Coach Jon Mills said: “Freddie is definitely one to watch – he boxes way beyond his years.”
The final junior contest put St Gerards’ Dennis Hayes face Thames Valley’s Caulie Suttie. It was another fine contest and Suttie was the deserved winner on points.
A senior female bout had St Gerards’ Joh Wilton, who is 20, making her debut against Zoe Woodley of the Heart of Portsmouth Academy.
It was a pulsating contest with technically-sound punches being thrown both ways, but Woodley won the contest on a split points decision.
Mills said: “Joh learnt a lot from the match and will move forward now she has her first ring experience.”
Next up, St Gerards’ Russell Smith made his ring debut against Adil Khalid of the Fishergate Boxing Club. Smith boxed well, said coach Gareth Ferguson, and held himself together with good defensive skills, coming out a split decision winner on points.
St Gerards boxer Chris James, aka The Flamboyant One, made his ring comeback after a three-year lay-off against Zak Morgan from Moulsecoomb Boxing Club.
This was a fast-paced fight which Morgan took on a points decision, but James proved he was back.
After an interval which featured a raffle and auction, St Gerards’ Billy Lavelle made his ring comeback after a two-year lay-off against Ron Trinder from Legacy BC. Lavelle’s rustiness showed and Trinder got a points decision.
The next three contests were for Southern Counties championship belts.
In the light-welter division Jacob Gabriel of Basingstoke won on a unanimous points decision over Ahmed Adenas of Heart of Portsmouth Academy.
At welterweight, Shaun Attrell of Hastings Westhill BC was the victor over Felix Kelly of Rusthall Tunbridge Wells.
Last up, at light-heavyweight, Bryce Goodridge of Basingstoke BC won the belt by beating Lewie Edmundson of the Golden Ring club.
Coach Mills said: “It was a brilliant night with some very good and very close contests that could have gone either way. There were no stoppages so that shows the quality of the matchmaking by Gerry Lavelle.”
Attrell was awarded the trophy for best visiting boxer and £500 of equipment was donated to his club by a sponsor.
The Charlie Orr Munro trophy was donated by Charlie himself – he boxed in the 1940-60s for Chichester Boys’ Boxing Club – and it has gone to the most improved St Gerards boxer, young Shawn Thompson.
The prize for the best bout of the evening went to Wilton and Woodley, an inspiration to all young would-be female boxers.
Best home boxer was Chris James, voted by chairman Bill Middleton, who raised this special trophy on behalf of Jack Hood. Like Munro, Hood was a boxer and a coach at the Chichester boys’ club.
This will be presented annually for the service over many many years Hood has given amateur boxing and is still doing so – he was the gloves man at this year’s show.
Middleton said: “Jack is a stalwart of the amateur boxing game who has given his whole life to the sport. He trained me as a youngster and caught me with a few shots in the ring as well. He also trained St Gerards coach Jon Mills and gave us life skills that we still carry and pass on to our own boxers.”
Lawrence Bennett, the southern area cruiserweight champion, presented many of the medals and trophies. He learned his trade at St Gerards bs before turning pro and said: “This is my opportunity to give back to the system that gave me so much at St Gerards.”
Organisers thanked sponsors like Haddow Electrical and Game Set and Match, along with Rotary’s Ray Richardson, who did a superb job organising the event, and Frank O’Donnell of St Gerards, who was the official in charge.