Proud Alnwick Amateur Boxing Club chairman Gary Pattinson hailed the effort and commitment of his troops after they put in spirited displays at their home show.
Roared on by an enthusiastic and passionate crowd in The Alnwick Garden, six members from the group did battle in the ring during the St George’s Day fight feast.
While they were unable to come away from The Punch Up in the Pavilion event with a victory to their name, Pattinson was pleased with what he saw from his boxers – especially as four of them were on debut.
Their performances, and the show in general, also demonstrated just how far the club and its personnel have come in a short space of time.
Based at the town’s St Thomas’ Close workshops, the organisation only opened its doors in the summer of 2012.
But it has already become an important asset to the area.
Since launching nearly two years ago, it has provided a host of classes for a range of age groups, forged links with RAF Boulmer, won a Newcastle Building Society community award and helped mould fight-ready boxers.
Last week’s event was also the club’s second show, coming on the back of its first event at Alnwick Castle in 2013 – a big success in itself.
Pattinson said: “Although we are a very new club, and only in our second season, I am very proud of each and every one of our boxers who were all involved in 50/50 bouts.
“We have also had great feedback about the event and the fantastic venue.
“Each of our boxers gave nothing less than 100 per cent, but unfortunately we did not get any decisions in our favour on the night.
“What each of the boxers did show was their pride and determination to succeed as Alnwick ABC members.
“With this in mind and their continued application, the future of the club is very promising.”
Representing Alnwick on the night were Reuben Law, Jessica Pattinson, Jamie Smibert, Shea McNeill, Joel Tailford and Jay Furness.
Craig Robinson was due to fight Gateshead’s Liam Wright, but his bout was pulled.
Law gained useful experience in the ring with his skills (exhibition) bout against Ryan Thompson, of Houghton and District.
One of the stand-out contests of the evening was Jessica Pattinson’s clash with Dunstan’s Sophie Rogers.
Pattinson came out of the traps quickly and forced a standing count in the first round, but her opponent responded well and snatched victory with a split decision.
However, Pattinson’s efforts earned her the best home club boxer award on the night.
The youngster said that she was pleased to win the accolade, which was presented to her by former bantamweight and featherweight champion Billy Hardy.
The ex-pro from Sunderland, who held the British championship at bantamweight and featherweight, as well as the European and Commonwealth featherweight titles, was MC on the night.
He wasn’t the only famous face on the night. Former cruiserweight world champion, Glenn McCrory, and the Duchess of Northumberland were among the special guests.
Furness was another boxer who performed well and forced a standing count in the opening round against Jack Potts of Hylton Castle. But Potts grew into the bout and defeated the home-club fighter by a third-round technical knockout.
Alnwick’s other three representatives lost on unanimous decisions. Tailford was defeated by Ronin Gorrian, of The Bronx, Smibert was pipped by Felling Warriors’ Robbie Sullivan and McNeill lost out to Liam Naish, of Aycliffe.
Pattinson added: “I want to thank all of our boxers, they helped make the show a massive success.”
There were a total of 11 bouts on the night, attracting boxers from a range of clubs on both sides of the Border.
Pattinson thanked everyone who attended the show, the sponsors of each contest and the Duchess for letting the club use the Pavilion.
Club supporter and Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle, who was one of the event’s special guests, paid tribute to the boxers, the club in general and how well the show was run.