“Silent” Knight stuns hot favourite

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TRAWDEN’s Joe “Silent” Knight made it a night to remember in the Senior ABA North West Finals at The Boxing School of Excellence Gorton, Manchester last weekend.

The 20-year-old Sandygate ABC boxer took on hot favourite Zefa Barratt (Collyhurst and Moston ABC) for the 60kg Lightweight title.

Straight from the opening bell Knight kept a tight guard and centre ring, wasting no punches and leading with his perfect lead hand jab, frustrating Barratt with his accuracy before covering any returning counters.

The second round was Knight’s finest, upping his work rate but still maintaining his impressive stance.

Knight started to rack up the points, displaying his full arsenal of punches including a exquisite lead hand screw shot rear hand combination, along with a rolling lead hand hook to the body/rear hand straight to the head, with every shot hitting the target.

Barratt who is trained by his uncle, former European and British lightwelterweight champion Pat Barratt, couldn’t get near to the impressive Sandygate boxer, only really scoring the odd hook to the body thrown with menace, but Knight’s durability to taking a body shot was never in doubt.

The third and final round saw Barratt, sensing defeat, throw all caution to the wind, but to little effect as Knight kept his composure and game plan together, and it was no surprise at the final bell when the Burnley-based prospect’s hand was raised with a unanimous verdict from all five judges ringside.

And this weekend, Knight claimed another scalp as he beat Leeds-based K. Devenish (Kelly’s ABC) in the National ABA Lightweight 60kg pre-quarter-finals, again in Gorton, to move into the last eight.

Yorkshire champion Devenish came out cagey in the first round, wary of Knight’s growing reputation.

The taller Devenish resorted to back foot boxing, allowing Knight to close down the ring, keeping a very tight guard, boxing off his rigid jab and rolling under the counters.

Knight’s intentions were clear - score and move.

The second round once again saw Knight control the squared circle, notching up the points, showing exquisite ring craft and counter style punching.

Devenish resorted to holding, which resulted in many warnings from the referee.

The final round saw both boxers throw caution to the wind, and Knight displayed great countering combinations, still maintaining a unpenetratable guard to take the verdict.

Knight boxes the Combined Services champion A. Matthews (Navy) in the ABA quarter-finals on Sunday, once again at Gorton.

“Joe is making a big noise in the sport, beating all in front of him with a classic boxing style, no flash, no bravado, just good quality pugilistic skill,” said coach Andy Howcroft.

Anyone interested in taking up the sport can contact the club via their website www.sandygateabc.com