A SUPERB win for the ever-improving Josh Clarke plus an accomplished victory for Brandon Churm were the highlights of an excellent festive fight night hosted by the Ernie Oxer School of Boxing at Mexborough’s Empress Ballroom.
Clarke earned a unanimous points decision against opponent Bradie Perkins who brought a very strong record of 11 wins from 14 bouts.
And Churm showed a great deal of composure and control to earn victory in his second ever bout.
Powerhouse Mickey Davies – expected to sign professional terms in 2012 – was narrowly beaten while Tom Reavy was edged out on his fight debut.
The night saw no-decision skills bouts for young trio Baden Wright, Jordan Linstead and Callum Spence while Connor Turner suffered a split decision defeat against the tall Jamie Kelly.
Clarke’s was the performance of the night as he made it three wins in three weeks by comfortably outpointing Earl Shilton ABC fighter Perkins.
It was the visiting fighter who had the best of the early stages through sheer workrate alone but Clarke began to find the target, picking his shots superbly with at times devastating accuracy.
Clarke sat back again in the opening moments of the second round but soon began to force the issue.
His use of the jab was excellent and the Conisbrough fighter’s best work came from behind it.
Perkins did a good job of unsettling Clarke as the third round began, attempting to turn the late stages of the bout into a brawl.
But Clarke soon regained composure and backed Perkins off with the jab.
The victory was unanimous in 14-year-old Clarke’s favour with his increasing in-ring maturity shining through.
Swinton’s Brandon Churm was competing in only his second bout but showed a level of composure which belied his lack of fight experience.
He also took a unanimous decision, outpointing tricky debutant Uffarn Hamza of Eastburn ABC.
Footwork from the 12-year-old was excellent and he coped well with an early barrage from Hamza, biding his time and picking his shots effectively.
Churm refused to allow himself to become embroiled in a brawl in the second round and paused Hamza’s onslaught by dropping to the body and landing a couple of clean shots.
He allowed the shots to flow towards the end of the second round, as he did in the third in quelling another Hamza barrage.
The debut of Bolton’s Tom Reavy was never going to be an easy one as he squared off against the taller Danny Carr from Horden ABC.
But the 14-year-old gave himself plenty to build upon in a good maiden performance.
He sought to nullify the height difference by getting in close and used his stocky frame to impose himself.
Carr was having more success with the scoring shots but Reavy refused to let him have it all his own way, forcing the visitor back into the corner in the second round.
Though he was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision, Reavy’s show of strength suggests he will not be long in waiting for a first victory.
There was another example of height difference as Darfield’s Connor Turner took on Jamie Kelly.
The taller Kelly made it difficult for Turner to get inside but also found it difficult to land much of note himself.
It did ensure a somewhat scrappy contest with 14-year-old Turner wisely forcing himself within firing range but unable to get the shots away as Kelly held him off.
It also meant the energy levels of both fighters were sapped in the final round.
The judges found it difficult to separate the two with Kelly taking a majority decision.
Big hitting Mickey Davies was certainly the underdog going into his fight with Robert Mawson.
The Horden ABC fighter carried 18 victories from 28 contests into the bout and his experience was clear to see.
But otherwise Stainforth fighter Davies did exceptionally well and split the judges.
Davies’ power was obvious as he rattled Mawson early in the first round with a right cross, imposing himself well in a spell where he was fully in control.
Mawson seemed to have greater ring smarts than Davies as he only approached his opponent when truly necessary.
Davies needed to follow up the jab more to really trouble Mawson but produced the shot of the night in the final round, landing a brilliant uppercut that had his opponent in trouble.
One judge had Davies ahead by one, another down by one but the third handed the split decision to Mawson.
Ten-year-old Baden Wright demonstrated some excellent footwork during his maiden skills bout, particularly in the first round when opponent Austin Langton piled on the pressure.
The Conisbrough youngster settled in the second round and worked his jab much better, landing some good scoring shots while Langton continued his action-packed approach.
Langton again tried to force the issue in the final round but Wright coped very well and saw out the bout comfortably.
Jordan Linstead demonstrated fast hands in the opening stages of his skills contest with Tyler Stewart, again showing the good footwork which all the Oxer School fighters seem to possess.
The Conisbrough fighter’s early exertions saw him tire in the later stages of the round but he recovered again in the second before showing strong defence against an all-action approach from Stewart.
The 11-year-old stepped up his offence in the final round, showing good tactical understanding by following up jabs, something which Stewart tried to match.
Calvin Spence gave away a considerable amount of height to opponent B Humphries which made it difficult for him to find his rhythm.
Humphries piled on the pressure in the early stages and Conisbrough’s Spence found himself under somewhat of a barrage but he refused to panic and began to move in and out of range well.
It was clear Spence felt the need to respond with offence of his own in the two remaining rounds which caused him to rush in at times but he coped very well overall.