The city’s Top Yard School of Boxing provided some top-class entertainment for fight fans at the weekend.
Their Sunday afternoon show at the Gladstone Community Centre featured 10 competitive bouts with a home club fighter in all of them.
And they celebrated eight victories with the two boxers that lost both unlucky to miss out on split decisions.
Young Saif Ali (12) set the ball rolling with a polished performance in the opening bout against D.Paulauskas from Newark ABC.
Paulauskas came to fight and pushed Ali all the way but Ali’s better footwork and combinations gave him the edge. He won on points to make it four wins on the trot.
Win number two came from Mohammed Ali Hassan (15). He outpointed Abdul Samad from Aston ABC in a very close contest which could have gone either way.
Hassan showed grit and determination and nicked the decision by upping the pace in the last round.
Hasnain Hussain (16) used his superior reach to great advantage to outpoint Mac O’Brian from Newark AC for Top Yard’s next win.
O’Brian never stopped going forward but Hussain countered well with long shots.
Mohammed Tayyib (15) won a return bout with Hisham Jellis from Aston ABC to gain revenge for missing out on a controversial decision when the pair first met.
Jellis came on very aggressive early on but Tayyib countered well and stepped it up in the second and third rounds to dominate from the centre of the ring and win comfortably on points.
Adam Iftikhar (16) beat Jack Richmond from Swale Gloves for Top Yard’s next success. He won on a points decision, following instructions well and avoiding the temptation to brawl.
He was the stronger boxer and used the ring well to land great single shots and combinations.
Junayd Ali (16) was another Top Yard fighter to win a rematch. He’d previously lost on points to Kieran Keen from Thetford Town ABC but this time he put the record straight.
And he did so in great style to earn the Quality Fruit & Veg Boxer of the Night award.
Ali thrilled the crowd with his showboating but also with his quick fists as well as he earned a deserved points victory.
Amaan Nadim (16) became the first Top Yard loser when pipped on points by Josh Caulfield from Swale Gloves. It was a split decision and Nadim perhaps should have thrown more combinatios to sway the judges.
He at least had the consolation of winning the SAS Limited Best Runner-Up Trophy.
Ben Stock (17) made a very promising ring debut for Top Yard, stopping Riece Lane from Spalding ABC in the second round.
Stock had been nervous throughout the day but once the bell went he was good to go. He showed great skills and movement and by the second round was catching Lane at will. That forced the referee to intervene.
Mustafa Rafiq (16) lost on a split decision to the more experienced Bradley Wilkinson from Norwich City ABC in what was the Insure4Sure Fight of the Night.
Both boxers battled well showing great skill, flair and commitment but the Norwich fighter showed more aggression in certain periods of the bout to help him get the nod in a tight contest.
The show-closer was an all-action heavyweight scrap between Top Yard’s Sahil Malak (21) and southpaw J. Singh from the Leicester Railwaymen’s Club.
Singh was very aggressive and was looking to catch Malak with big bombs. But Malak’s composure, fast hands and quick combinations proved to be too hot to handle for Singh.
Malak picked his shots well and forced four standing counts in the first two rounds with the referee eventually stopping the contest in the second round to give Malak his first win.
In a show-opening skills bout Junaid Farooq (13) from Top Yard showed some nice touches against Tom Buckley from Ernies ABC and looked very composed.