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Dave Woodhall’s Boxing Blog



Fans celebrating outside the ring while a boxer needed oxygen within it; a victory for a fighter who’d lost his first eight bouts, and a debut success for Brummie light-middleweight Nasser al Harbi. Dave Woodhall reports from ringside as pro boxing returns to Dudley after a gap of several years.

Professional boxing returned to Dudley after several years with an interesting card last Friday at The Venue, courtesy of Wolverhampton-based promoters First Team .

Topping the bill on a warm night was unbeaten Birmingham light-middleweight Nasser al Harbi, who has been tipped for great things by such notables as former world champion Ritchie Woodhall. 19 year old al Harbi, whose previous six fights had all been points wins, faced Stourbridge’s Ken McAuley, himself entering the ring at short notice just 11 days after his last contest.

Al Harbu started off well, forcing his opponent onto the back foot almost from the off. McAuley rallied to take the second round but as the fight progressed, so the Brummie youngster increasingly found his target. Although he lacks a destructive punch, al Harbi is a slick mover and McAuley had no answer to the combinations fired in from all angles.

McAuley was warned several times for holding, and had a degree of success in the later stages, although al Harbi seemed to enjoy a more comfortable victory that the referee’s 58-57 scorecard would indicate.

The previous contest had seen a stunning end to a 4 round light-middleweight fight between debutants Sam Padgett of Dudley and Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence.

Padgett made a good start to the contest, but the middle rounds saw Spence beginning to take control. Going into the last round it was still anyone’s contest but the referee’s scorecard was rendered immaterial when Spence walked onto a crushing right hand that sent him sprawling face-first into the canvas.

The referee halted the fight immediately with a minute gone in the round and there were some unsightly scenes as Padgett’s fans celebrated outside the ring while paramedics were tending to the stricken Spence, who required oxygen. Fortunately there was no lasting harm done and the Scunthorpe fighter was able to leave the ring unaided.

It had been a happier night for Brierley Hill light-middleweight Martin Gordon, who after eight straight defeats finally gained his first pro win by outpointing Jason Nesbitt of Birmingham. Gordon, who said later that he would have retired had he not won, worked well behind the jab and was generally busier than Nesbitt to take the verdict in their four round clash 39-38.

The night started with a 4 round light-heavyweight contest which saw Coventry’s Louis Davies defeating veteran Welshman Mark Phillips over four rounds. Davies was well on top throughout and had Phillips in trouble on a couple of occasions but was unable to force the stoppage although he did win every round in a 40-36 scoreline.

Debutant Myles Holder then took on Telford’s Martin Seawright in a four rounds middlweight contest. Holder dominated from start to finish, showing some useful moves to delight the small army of fans he had brought with him from Wolverhampton.

Local hero Chris Male took his 100% record to five out of five with a four rounds points win over veteran Telford fighter Shaun Walton. Although the fight was billed as a welterweight clash, Male has previously fought at super-feather and weighed in at 9st 4 for this bout. He took the decision 40-36 and looked in impressive form.

Coseley light-welter orchard Ghent scored his third straight win since turning pro, and his first inside the distance, when stopping Huddersfield fighter Jason Thompson in the third of a scheduled four rounds. After a cagey opening Ghent stepped up the pace in the second, and hurt the Yorkshireman with a vicious uppercut in the following round. This was followed up with a sustained attack which forced the stoppage after 1minute 20 seconds of round three.


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