By Jamie Arrowsmith 30/04 Updated: 30/04 15:41
A PACKED crowd at Droitwich Sports and Leisure Centre witnessed an entertaining evening of amateur boxing on Saturday.
The event was arranged by the Droitwich Boxing Club, in conjunction with the Leisure Centre, as part of the boxing club’s campaign to raise funds for a new gymnasium.
The bout of the night was unquestionably the top of the bill clash between welterweights Michael ‘Buller’ Pardoe and Thomas Whitfield (Birtley).
Pardoe, who is the present Midland Counties champion, was dwarfed by his tall opponent but he forced the pace from the outset, getting in close and landing solid hooks and uppercuts.
Whitfield was repeatedly cautioned for holding and only in the latter stages of the third round did he land with clean punches of his own. It came as a surprise to many, therefore, when the majority verdict of the judges went in favour of Whitfield.
Birtley light middleweight Grant Crooks similarly got the nod following a split decision after a cracking bout with Aaron Beckford, which again many thought Beckford had done more than enough to win.
One of the best contests was the women’s bout between Droitwich’s Beth Trueman and Sue Lee (Oxford University). Both boxed with skill and aggression before Trueman deservedly taking the decision.
Droitwich boxers scored a double over Portsmouth as Light welter Scott Kirby was in good form to stormed to a points win over Craig Gofford whilst cruiserweight Gez Vessey stopped Carl Evans in the third round.
The Butler brothers, Harry (15) and George (11), both had good wins. Harry found Jordan Cameron (Kirkby-in-Ashfield) a tough opponent but stuck to his guns to win a close contest. George looked full of promise in comprehensively outpointing Wednesbury’s Lewis Green.
Mikey O’Toole (14) failed to make it a double over Wednesbury though when he dropped a split decision to Declan Millward. O’Toole showed excellent defensive skills against an aggressive opponent but lacked his customary sharpness in attack.
Luke Evans (13) got back to winning ways, boxing powerfully to outpoint Newbury’s Jake Kingham, but light welter Frankie Butler failed to make it a double over Newbury when he lost a split decision to Chris Haines.
Shawn Hewlett and Sam Clegg, both 16, suffered defeats, Hewlett in the third round having injured his ribs and Clegg on points against a giant of an opponent. Will Jones (15) and Callum Underwood (14) also both lost on points whilst Harry Smith (15) and Liam Jones (10) both featured in no-decision skills bouts.
“All in all the evening was a great success,” commented Droitwich coach and club secretary Chris Andrews.
"The turnout and support of the crowd was great, the assistance provided by the staff at the Leisure Centre was fantastic, and the generosity of sponsors was tremendous.
"We will have raised in the region of £3,000 for our building fund - and the boxing was not bad either.
"The Pardoe/Whitfield bout will be remembered by all who witnessed it for a very long time. Our thanks go to all who made the event such a success.”
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