Talented Alnwick Amateur Boxing Club members have spoken of their delight and pride after landing victories at their home show, in front of a large and passionate crowd.
Ben Wright, Joel Tailford, Jamie Smibert and Shea McNeill all battled to wins at their club’s St George’s Day Boxing Bonanza last Thursday.
The warriors from the host club were cheered on punch by punch by hundreds of fight fans inside Alnwick’s Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre. And they responded in the best way possible.
In what was his first-ever fight, Wright, 13, had a debut to remember, with a second-round stoppage against opponent Zac Nabi, of Bristol-based Downend and District.
Speaking after his technical knockout victory, the Rothbury teenager said: “It feels amazing to win. It is a great buzz. The crowd was electric.”
Club mate Smibert continued a fine night for Alnwick with a unanimous victory over Hylton Castle’s Brandon Mould.
The 14-year-old’s delight was clear to see, as he jumped for joy after hearing the decision.
“To get my first win for Alnwick at the home show is the best feeling,” said the youngster from Longhoughton.
Joel Tailford made it a hat-trick of victories for the home club with a split-decision over Jordan Sanderson, from Hartlepool Elite.
“I am ecstatic, there’s no feeling that compares to it,” said the 15-year-old from Amble, after landing his second win for Alnwick.
To top off his night, Tailford was named best Alnwick boxer of the evening.
Things got even better for the north Northumberland club as Shea McNeill, 15, secured Alnwick’s fourth victory of the show.
“Winning at your home event makes the feeling 10 times better,” admitted the Alnwick lad after recording a unanimous triumph over Kyle Vannett of O’Neil’s ABC.
Reflecting on his performance, which resulted in his sixth win in Alnwick colours, he said: “The fight didn’t go as I expected it to, I thought I would have to get in close, but it worked out better to pick him off.”
There were defeats on the night for two Alnwick boxers, but both put in spirited and encouraging performances. Hot prospect Jessica Pattinson, who is gearing up for the School Girls’ National Championships, fell to a unanimous defeat against talented Chantel Whiting, of Plymouth-based Mayflower ABC.
Meanwhile, club colleague Craig Robinson was on the wrong side of a unanimous verdict, losing to Hartlepool Elite’s Ben Henderson.
Club chairman Gary Pattinson hailed the performance of all six of the club’s boxers. He said: “All of our boxers did exceptionally well and there were some great performances throughout the night.
“For me, Jamie Smibert’s reaction of pure elation when he found out that he had won his contest summed it all up for me. It personified the attitude and desire of all our boxers and showed what it meant to box at the home show.”
Pattinson was also delighted with the event itself, which featured 12 bouts and attracted boxers from around England and Scotland, as well as a supportive and vocal crowd.
He said: “This was our third home show, on the back of fight nights at Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden, and it was another excellent evening.
“I am very pleased that we are working with Active Northumberland, who helped us get the venue for the night, and I would also like to thank everyone who supported the event. It was tremendous.”
The show was sponsored by MKM Building Supplies.