Boxing: Crowcroft victory is no laughing matter

Luke Crowcroft against Jody Meikle
Luke Crowcroft against Jody Meikle

Luke Crowcroft answered cries to get serious about boxing as he beat fighting funnyman Jody Meikle at the Dome on Friday night.

In fact, the 19-year-old was the only one in the room who managed to keep a straight face as journeyman Meikle moved up a notch his usual distraction tactics during the bout.

These two fighters provided a great contrast to each other – Meikle taking part in his 50th bout, making a decent living as an opponent; Crowcroft in his fifth, aiming to make a more than comfortable living as a star.

The Scawthorpe super middleweight has been urged recently by manager Stefy Bull to make sure his potential is filled.

And Bull will have been delighted with his man’s stoney-faced and businesslike response to Meikle’s antics.

Yawning after taking a barrage of shots, lounging on the ropes and taking the time to taunt Crowcroft’s support, ‘The One Man Riot’ somewhat stole the show in his own inimitable way.

But Crowcroft deserves plenty of credit for maintaining his composure throughout the six round contest, ensuring he won at a canter.

He worked the jab well and consistently landed a right hook to the head, never in trouble and never drawn into anything he should not have been.

Crowcroft could not resist a wry smile when Meikle planted a kiss on his forehead during a clinch in the final round.

And he was certainly smiling after referee Michael Alexander’s 60-55 points verdict, a share of a round for Meikle likely given as a 50th fight present.

Accomplished performances seemed to be the theme of a low key night at the Dome.

Injuries and late opponent withdrawals may have denied a well-spirited crowd bouts featuring Gavin McDonnell, Thomas Harty Jnr and Micky Davies but they were treated to the introduction of another fighter they are likely to be keen to see in the future.

Debutant Aston Jolly looked incredibly comfortable in a professional ring as he earned a 40-37 points win over journeyman Dee Mitchell.

Jolly has plenty of amateur experience but that has not necessarily proved a positive for budding pros.

There were no signs of a difficult transition for the former Doncaster Plantworks fighter.

The light middleweight’s jab consistently pierced Mitchell’s guard, marking him out early as a classy operator and one to watch.

Mitchell landed several low blows over the four rounds but Jolly’s revenge was not sought with overt aggression, just a polished display of boxing.

Lightning would not strike again for Edlington’s John Anthony as he kicked off the night against Irish champion Paddy McDonagh.

Anthony inflicted the only defeat of McDonagh’s nine fight career in April but was well beaten, 59-55 on points this time around.

Predictability was the light heavyweight’s worst enemy as he barrelled in with an overhand right that McDonagh easily telegraphed and consistently countered.

Also on the bill, Rotherham’s Tommy Coward was solid in his 59-56 win over Duane Green while Lincoln’s Bobby Jenkinson stopped Sheffield-based Hungarian Adrian Fuzesi in a cracker.