STAMFORD boxer Jack Spires had the crowd of more than 370 on their feet during his stand-out win against Dean Willison on Saturday night.
The bout was the highlight of a great night of boxing at Stamford ABC’s annual event at Deeping Leisure Centre.
Spires against Willison was the heaviest competition of the night, in the 79kg category, and the big boys put in an all action performance.
Spires, who has been boxing for just seven months, started the first round well, building his success behind a strong and accurate left jab but it was the visitor who dominated the centre of the ring.
The most eye-catching moment of the first round came from Spires when he laid down a series of big body shots which sounded out across the hall, before they were drowned out by the roar of an appreciative crowd.
Willison seemed to grow in confidence in the second round, trapping Spires, who was backing up far too regularly, into the corners, forcing the Stamford fighter to battle his way out of some tough positions, getting caught by a big right hand.
Having been told that he was on the brink of losing the fight by his corner, Spires came out with renewed aggression in the third and final round, charging forward and two telling hooks helped seal the round and fight, by split decision, for Spires.
Spires said after the fight: “Dan my trainer said this is it, you’re not going to win this unless you take the last round and give it your all.
“He had me in the corner and I thought I’m not having this any more and tried to box my way out of it.”
Spires’ efforts were recognised by the judging panel who award him the title of Stamford Boxer of the Evening.
His victory capped a fine performance for the local amateur club which enjoyed victories in five out of six of the competitive bouts in which it entered fighters.
Stamford ABC’s first victory came through Alec Murphy who unanimously got the better of Alex Cookson (Heart of England).
The rangey Luke Owen also claimed a unanimous victory thanks to his effective long jab keeping the shorter Issac Leatherland (South Holland) at bay.
Naseem Benjamar impressed in his win over Conner McGreedy (Grantham), showing good speed and judgement throughout. Craig Brewin finished a successful night with a win against W Smith (Stevenage ABC).
Conner Moore was the unlucky home fighter who ended up on the wrong end of the judges’ decision, losing by split decision to Goldstar’s Nathan Lee who battled behind an efficient left jab and wide slapping shots to the body.
To open the evening the crowd were entertained by a skills bout between Jack Edward-Race and Lewis Bailey, with both juniors showing great promise.
The official award for bout of the night was given to Bourne ABC fighter Jack Bailey and K Lea from Terry Allen Unique, Lincoln, which saw Lea named the victor by unanimous decision.
In the other bouts Bradly Smith (St Ives BA) beat Aiden Johnson (South Holland BA), Bradley Roberts (Terry Allen Unique) was defeated by Douglas Stratton (Attleborough ABC), Matt Hutchinson (Phoenix) got the better of Nick Bass (Goldstar) and Sam Keen (KK School of Boxing) finished on top against Harry Nash (Goldstar).
The trophies were awarded by sponsors from Stamford Electrical Services and money raised through a raffle on the night will be donated to the Stamford Skatepark fund.