06:59 Monday 12 May 2014

Nathan Smith claims maiden victory in return fight


Callum Gibson Callum Gibson

Nathan Smith gained revenge in his rematch with Luke Westray and picked up the first win of his career to boot at Haddenham & Ely’s final show of the season.

Smith lost to his opponent from Bury St Edmunds’ Eastgate club on his debut in their previous clash at the same Ely College venue earlier this season.

But, cheered on by a home crowd, he came through this time on a majority decision in an extremely close-fought encounter.

Smith had a slight height advantage over Westray, who maintained a steely glare which belied his tiny frame, but found most success in the opening round going for body shots.

There was little space for either boxer to work in, but the pace dropped in the second period as they slogged it out before Smith got the nod in the end, to his obvious delight.

Jay Moore suffered a split verdict defeat on his debut against Chalvedon fighter Sonny Hardy.

But it was an encouraging performance from the first-timer, who is following in the footsteps of his uncles Steve and Perry by boxing for Haddenham.

He certainly looked the part with spangly Union Jack shorts, featuring a pair of golden gloves, and glittery silver boots.

And there was little to choose between the pair, although Hardy made the more aggressive start to each round, which may have been what it came down to on the scorecards.

Callum Gibson was on the wrong end of a split decision in his clash with Essex University hitter Charlie Shave.

There was plenty of eyeball between the duo while the referee was issuing instructions and they took it into the ring with Gibson prowling around looking for the right time to come in.

But Shave proved a useful counter-puncher and was able to pick Gibson off at times when he made a move.

Callum Francis went down on a unanimous verdict to Southend’s Amir Ishfaq in a fierce toe-to-toe battle.

Ishfaq already appeared to be a livewire from the way he was bouncing around in the ring while Francis was still having is photo taken with the club’s schoolboy boxer-of-the-year award he had just received.

And it proved to be the case as both went at it hammer and tongs, putting some power behind their blows.

Francis had most joy with the left hook, but Ishfaq was relentless in his energy and work rate.

He dragged the home boxer into the kind of fight he wanted, getting through several times in the last round when Francis dropped his guard.

Cambridge’s Max Durning lost on a split decision to Chalvedon boxer Tony Cooper.

Durning gave away several inches in height and reach, and sustained a nasty nosebleed in the second round, but showed real guts to go right to the end.

Meanwhile, Liam Goodjohn and Riley Smith picked up the club’s senior and junior club awards respectively after treating the crowd to a sparring session during the interval.

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