Academy boxing show is a knockout

A SELL-OUT crowd at the newly-refurbish Corn Exchange witnessed a quality evening of amateur action put on by St Ives Boxing Academy on Friday.

A SELL-OUT crowd at the newly-refurbished Corn Exchange witnessed a quality evening of amateur action put on by St Ives Boxing Academy on Friday.

For the juniors, Shona Whitwell showed why she is fancied in the upcoming national championships in her non-scoring skills bout against Charlotte Robinson from Hull, using her height and reach to outbox her stocky opponent in rounds two and three.

Scott Pepper was on the wrong end of a losing scoreline against aggressive Peter Love from Grimsby, while Bradley Smith went down on a majority decision after a close contest against the awkward Tom Davey from St Mary’s ABC.

Meanwhile Martin Rooney - back in the ring after his controversial national schoolboy semi-final loss last week - suffered another debatable decision as he lost to Zac Chaima unanimously, which was his third defeat against the Finchley fighter.

The seniors then took centre stage after the interval, but it wasn’t a good night for Hayden Beasley.

He took some heavy punishment at the hands of Sam Pomphrey from Broad Plain ABC and, after two standing counts from the referee, the towel was thrown in.

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Tom Martin was up against junior ABA champion Chris Smith of West Ham ABC, whose crisp counter-punching power saw him through to a comfortable win.

Next up Bradley Chapman warmed up for the upcoming ABA championships with a thrilling contest against England and Hull fighter Tom Knight.

This was a clash of styles, with the high work rate and fitness of Chapman pitted against the showboating style of Knight.

And it was Chapman’s superior fitness that earned him a unanimous decision, then a standing ovation and the St Ives boxer of the night award.

Top of the bill was local favourite Dan Meston, who went toe to toe with Roland Leroy of Dereham ABC, and did not disappoint.

He dictated the bout from start to finish, with power punching to the head and body and, although Leroy had his moments, Meston’s jab allowed him to dominate from range, before punishing his opponent to the body on the inside.

A stunning final round saw Meston awarded a unanimous decision, which was his fourth straight win in the cruiserweight division.