COLNE’S Lloyd “Boom-Boom” Baldwin (21) made his boxing debut for Burnley’s Sandygate ABC at the weekend in Salford.
Fighting against J. Green (St John’s ABC), you would have been mistaken to believe the very popular boxer was the home show’s main event such were the vocal efforts of his huge following!
The noise at the opening bell was deafening, and not to disappoint, Lloyd took control, throwing countless punches with a high rate of hits, moving well and showing his immense fitness levels.
The second, much like the first, was a frantic fight with both boys giving it their all.
The third saw Baldwin extend his lead and get into the flow in a very impressive display.
The roof was raised even more when the verdict in favour of the Sandygate boxer was announced.
The shows main event saw former Paratrooper and Army Squad boxer Lee “Wings” O’Hara (24) make his return in the Sandygate claret and blue against Yorkshire’s V. Atkins (Halifax ABC).
The sound of the first bell saw a very measured affair with both boxers testing the waters.
A cagey affair saw O’Hara score of his lead hand and counter well to the body.
The second opened up with both boxers putting on a classic display of the noble art, countering, slipping, drawing and feinting - no shots were wasted and was a very even affair on the score cards.
In the third O’Hara upped his game, sensing the closeness of the bout, and his rigid jab and body shots began to take its toll on his quality opponent.
Sandygate’s O’Hara took the majority verdict.
10-year-olds Cameron “Scholsy” Hird and Dylan “Deadly” Lord both faced home boxers A. Robertson and C. Smith respectively in bouts of skill.
This season saw a change in the sport’s National Governing Body rules which allows boxers aged 10 to compete in up to four skills bouts, allowing them the chance to gain vital experience.
Both boys performed exceptionally.
West Craven’s Year 8 pupil Reagan Driver (12) was also matched against L. Gallimore (Stockport ABC) in an ABA skills bout, which turned into a warm up for their full bout later this month.
Barnoldswick’s Driver showed why he is being highly praised by many at the club.
“Banger” Brett Windle (13) was matched against Merseyside and Cheshire champion C. Brown (Phoenix ABC) in a schoolboy contest.
Straight from the opening bell Windle kept centre ring and picked his shots to perfection against his taller foe, scoring well to the body and head.
The much-fancied Brown knew he was in for a hard time.
The second round once again saw Sandygate’s Windle dominate, scoring well with his two-phase switch of attacks, moving well around the ring.
The third and final round started at a blistering pace with Brown upping his game, but Windle weathered the storm and retaliated with fevorous force.
All judges ringside gave the Sandygate boxer the nod as his hand was raised at the final bell, earning Brett another quality scalp.
“Lee was awesome but the bout was a close affair -- we have a rematch at the end of the month which we wont take lightly. As for Lloyd, what a debut, I couldn’t be more pleased,” beamed Coach Andy Howcroft.
Schoolboy Coach Nik Tucker added: “Windle took another name, and is improving every bout, the young ones showed the future is bright also with Driver impressing all.”
Anyone interested in joining the popular outfit can contact the club on 07855505719 or via their new website www.sandygateabc.com