Young boxer Martin Rooney redeems himself at St Ives Boxing Club’s home show at The Corn Exchange

MARTIN Rooney, St Ives Boxing Club’s 16-year-old hot prospect, got his revenge on Saturday night when he beat Henri Potter from Kingfisher ABC two weeks after a majority decision had seen him defeated by the same fighter in Great Yarmouth.

“Martin did his usual show stealing performance and totally redeemed himself with an emphatic win in front of a very enthusiastic crowd,” said St Ives ABC coach Steve Whitwell, who was pleased with a six out of nine win ratio at his club’s home show the Corn Exchange. “We had a very successful show. There were 15 bouts in total with six wins from nine for St Ives,”

Ten-year-old Reece Paige had a skills bout against James Pullen from Northampton ABC to open the evening with Dean Pepper, 12, failing to follow up his first competitive win with a unanimous loss to Tyler Rivers from Earl Shilton.

Tom Talbot, 14, made his St Ives debut against Bradley Copping from Kingfisher and, although he was boxed competitively for the first two rounds, Talbot sealed the win with his more aggressive approach.

Jimmy Rooney, the 13-year-old cousin of Martin, also made his debut – against Joss Amiss from Marston – and his unorthodox style worked well against a stronger opponent.

A low blow from Amiss in the final minute almost cost Rooney but Amiss failed to nail him cleanly and Rooney won with a unanimous decision.

Bradley Smith, 15, extended his winning run to six bouts by beating Noel Gilbert from Earl Shilton, while 18-year-old Michael Benning got his boxing career off to a winning start against Andrew Barraclough from Scunthorpe.

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Then it was Rooney’s turn, and the boxer started much faster and made Potter fight at his pace and intensity which saw the visitor out of his comfort zone.

Rooney did get caught with a few counters on the way in but landed some cracking shots on the inside which bloodied Potter’s nose from the first round.

More of the same in the second put Rooney way ahead and a lead right cross late in the round landed flush on Potter’s chin and he fell forward to the canvas and only just beat the refs count.

The bell probably saved him from stoppage defeat and although Rooney continued to pressure him in the last round, winning with a wide unanimous decision.

A senior light heavyweight newcomer Gurpal Singh also got his career off to a winning start but was probably fortunate to get the decision after being a bit too cautious over the three rounds against the strong attacks of Joshua Chapman from Bilborugh.

Masters boxer, cruiserweight Matt Cable, was always going to have a tough night against the far more experienced Wesley Clarke from Cambridge, but did not embarrass himself, losing out on a points decision.

Top of the bill was big-hitter Ryan Robinson who faced Luke Collins from Bilborough.

It turned out to be a bit of a slugfest from the opening bell but Robinson was always getting the better of the exchanges – although it did become a bit messy at close quarters.

Whitwell said: “It wasn’t until the end of the second round that one of Robinson’s attacks was met with an overhand right and as it landed he wobbled enough to bring an eight count from the judges.

“The bell may well have saved him in that round and he was a bit shaky in the corner but assured me he was OK.

“He began the third with some more aggressive attacks but a lapse in concentration let Chapman through his guard again and a stunning punch landed flush on Robinson’s cheek and he fell to the canvas.

“I immediately threw in the towel before the ref could count him as he was in no state to continue, although he did bravely get to his feet.

“Robinson recovered well quickly bit was obviously disappointed to lose so dramatically having never been hurt in the ring before like that.

“It was a bit of a shock and very upsetting because he was ahead on the scorecards but “I’m sure he will come back stronger and did ask me to get him a rematch with Chapman.

“This was another great show for St Ives and we showed off five new boxers who all got wins on their debut.

“We have never had ten boxers on a show before and fifteen great contests will only put us in a better position for our next show in the new year.”

CAMBS Police Club boxer Ashley Linnett won his first fight at the Grampion Club in Corby when he beat Olympic Club fighter John Iwanoff at the weekend.

It was the 15-year-old’s fourth fight and after losing his first three, the southpaw came through this test in what his coach Mick Taylor described as one of the ‘best fights of the night’.

“It was a real ‘Yes!’ moment,’ said Taylor. ‘Both boxers had suffered hiccups at the start of their careers but put on a cracking display of what I call proper boxing.

“But Ash was the more positive and stronger of the two and used his southpaw style to his advantage.

“Iwanoff couldn’t come to terms with his awkward style and Ashley pounded him, outpunching him by four shots to one.”

This Friday the club is hoping to send boxers to Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire, while Sergio Pita is hoping to fight in Leamington Spa on the same night.

The Huntingdon-based club’s next home show is planned for the last Friday of January.