Keighley Amateur Boxing Club’s annual show provided an evening of outstanding competition.
The event, which was held in support of Cougars captain James ‘Buster’ Feather’s testimonial year, saw eight local boxers in action – four each from Keighley ABC and Eastburn ABC – at the Victoria Hall.
Hamza Urfan (Eastburn) enjoyed a convincing win over Jack Layton (White Rose, Wakefield) at 44kg, as did Zain Ul Abdeen (Eastburn) over Hamza Hussain (Bradford Police) at 50kg.
Debutant Patrick Cotty (Eastburn) produced a memorable non-stop, all-action performance in accounting for Nathanyel Cellers (Macclesfield) at 58kg with a genre reminiscent of ‘Raging Bull’ Jake La Motta. His low, aggressive style saw not a backward step being taken.
Keighley ABC boxer Awais Muhammad, another debutant, gave a good account of himself, narrowly losing a close decision to Aseel Ahmed (Ingles, Sheffield) at 55kg.
A third debutant on the night, Josh Dowse (Keighley), lost by a technical knockout to Jack Chapman (Ingles) at 50kg.
Dowse got off to a slow start but showed later in the bout that he has much promise, with some good jabbing and combination punching.
The most unfortunate boxer of the evening was Keighley’s Keann Shaw, whose bout was stopped in the first round against James Jaques (Love ABC, Bacup) at 68kg.
Shaw was doing well until he was caught with a late thundering punch, following the referee’s instruction for both boxers to step back, resulting in his nose being broken and leaving no option other than the contest being stopped.
Next up was recent England ABA Female Championship semi-finalist Chelsea Heaps (Keighley), who brought the house down with a superb performance of demonstrative boxing skills against Laura Hammond (Bradford Police).
This was Heap’s best performance of her career and, had she produced this in her English last-four bout, she would have progressed to the finals.
Hammond took the best loser of the evening award and Heaps won the best boxer award.
The final bout of the evening was a classic, with Josh Holmes (Eastburn) nicking a split decision over Jake Winfidale (Sheffield Boxing Centre ABC) at 62kg.
This bout provided three rounds of non-stop, high-class boxing that exuded all the skills of the sport and of these two very talented boxers. This was worth the admission money on its own.