MATARR Wanda was the star of the show at the Felbridge Hotel on Friday night as he pounded Gosport’s Callum Pankhurst to a unanimous points defeat.
The Broadfield teenager thrilled the packed crowd at Crawley Boxing Club’s annual dinner show, oozing class in his 73kg bout against the plucky, but outclassed Pankhurst. This was the third time Wanda had boxed the Hampshire boy, and right from the opening bell there was never a doubt that Crawley’s rising star was going to make it a hat-trick of wins.
Another successful annual dinner event organised by CABC
Wanda started off as he meant to go on, boxing with a maturity beyond his years. Quickly asserting his authority he soon claimed the centre of the ring banging out hurtful straight punches. Throwing his shots to both head and body with success and ease Wanda easily took the opening round.
Any chance Pankhurst had of getting back into the contest in the second round were soon dispelled as Wanda simply upped both the pace and work rate. Always the busier boxer Wanda’s accurate and hurtful punches were soon coming back unanswered, and it was no surprise when a peach of a right hand soon saw blood flowing freely from the nose of Pankhurst.
Despite being on the end of a one-sided beating Pankhurst refused to give in, and the final round had the packed hall roaring their appreciation at a cracking contest. Still Wanda came forward mixing it well to head and body and forcing Pankhurst to hold on.
At the end of three excellent rounds of boxing it was no surprise that all three ringside judges awarded Wanda a well deserved, if not lop-sided victory. Without putting too much pressure on the highly talented Crawley boxer, this kid is something special and it would surprise no one if he didn’t have a big say in junior championships this year.
Opening the show Crawley’s Joel Cooper crashed to a first round stoppage by Southampton’s Mitchell Turner in a 35kg junior bout.
Both boys looked equally matched early on with Cooper boxing well behind a high guard. But shortly before the end of the opening session Turner trapped Cooper in the corner and unloaded some heavy shots forcing the referee to call an early halt to proceedings.
Another of Crawley’s rising junior boxers Martin Ward also came on the wrong end of a point’s decision in a thrilling three rounds of boxing against Woking’s Jordan Hopkins.
Ward, with the former European champ Micky Alldis in his corner, started well enough but soon found himself on the end of some long right hands from the clever looking Hopkins. Despite forcing himself back into the action in the second round Ward was unable to get the better of the Surrey boxer.
Undaunted by his strong opponent Ward still tried coming forward with two handed attacks, but the pace of the bout began to tell midway through the final round as the gallant Crawley boxer began to tire. The end of three fast paced, skilful rounds saw Hopkins take the judges verdict by a unanimous decision.
In the seniors hard hitting crowd pleaser James Verbeetan battled his way to a thrilling points win over Portsmouth’s Ernest Wojack.
Verbeetan showed his usual guts and determination, displaying all the qualities that make him such a crowd pleaser. Taking control right from the opening bell Verbeetan soon settled into his stride, boxing behind a high guard and driving big right hands over the top. Wojack had no answer to the Crawley man’s style and was soon on the end of a warning from the referee for slapping.
Wojack started the second round on top, forcing Verbeetan into the corner but couldn’t find the big shot needed to hurt the Crawley man who ended the session back on top. The third and final round was all Verbeetan’s, long straight shots that often came back unanswered and saw him take a well deserved decision.
Sher Khan can count himself very unlucky to drop a split decision against Kane Bradley of Portsmouth. Khan started brightly enough, showing considerable improvement on previous bouts and did more than enough to take the opening round.
Two good fast paced rounds followed only for Khan to get a bit sloppy with his work rate towards the end of the final round and so lose the narrowest of point’s verdicts.
Tobanio Mancusso ended the evening’s proceedings with a win for Crawley as he just edged out Brighton’s Richard Keating on a split decision. All three rounds were good toe to toe boxing with neither boxer prepared to take a backwards step. In the end Mancusso’s greater work rate and accurate punches saw him home on the tightest of decisions to end a fantastic night of amateur boxing.
April 19, 2012
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