Young Rooney is the rising star of St Ives ABC

YOUNG boxer Martin Rooney didn’t disappoint his growing army of fans when he put on another fine show of boxing against the aggressive Sam Roberts of South Normanton ABC on Saturday.

St Ives’ Burgess Hall was sold out with 300 diners at the show and Roberts had no answer to the counterpunching skills that Rooney has developed so well over the summer months.

His coach Steve Whitwell said: “Martin is possibly the best boxer at his weight in the country at the moment. This was obvious throughout the three rounds.”

Indeed, the 14-year-old turned on the style and threw punches from all angles to beat his opponent unanimously with what Whitwell described as “a faultless performance”. This earned him ‘boxer of the night’ status, despite the excitement of Sam Barron’s top-billing fight against Joe Burdett from Geddington ABC.

Burdett came forward constantly to put Barron under pressure but in the second and third rounds the home boxer found his range and scored with several hard right-hand counters. Despite a scrappy end to the bout, Barren had done enough for the judges.

In all there were five home wins from the evening’s eight fights with Bradley Smith making his return to the ring against Thomas Davey from St Mary’s ABC but surprisingly losing on a majority decision despite an excellent counterpunching performance.

Scott Pepper came up against Tommy Taylor from Eastgate ABC and although he started slowly he boxed well and picked up a lot of points to come from behind and sneak a majority victory.

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Matt Cable fought in the masters class, which is for over 34 year olds, and put on a brave display against Lee Farnland of South Normanton, but lost on a close decision, while Ryan Robinson made his debut for the club and showed his potential by winning on a unanimous decision against Rhys Hughes from Pheonix ABC.

Tommy Martin had his fifth fight of the season and never looked in trouble against Jamie Corner of New Asley and Haden Beasley made his return to the ring against an old adversary Wesley Clark from Cambridge, doing well but tiring and losing the fight late on.

Earlier in the evening there were three non-scoring, ‘skills’ bouts. First up was the coach’s daughter Harli Whitwell against Milli Hansen from Grimsby ABC. Dan Pepper then met Myles Fletcher from Burton Park ABC and Kian Meadows met Joe Kerrison of Attleborough.