By Noah Abrahams, Max Taylor & Joe McMillan
Walsall’s James Beech Jr became a two-weight Midlands Area Champion on Saturday evening thanks to a hard fought victory over Luke Jones.
The local duo, Jones is from Chasetown, met in an absorbing ten round contest at the top of BCB Promotions’ ‘Battle at the Banks’s’ show at Walsall Football Club.
Beech just about managed to edge out the ambitious Jones 96-95 in a late candidate for Fight of the Year.
The two former sparring partners wasted no time getting stuck into each other and, full credit to both men, the pace of the tussle continued from first bell until last.
Beech started off well and looked to counter and tag Jones at every opportunity. The 22 year-old managed to just sit out of range of Jones’ shots or blocked them whenever he came straight forward.
Up close though, Jones produced the better work and had some success in those middle rounds. Naturally stringer, the 25 year-old looked to close the distant and work on the inside.
Beech regained momentum and his rhythm down the stretch and boxed beautifully at times as he picked his host, landed, and then moved out of range. Jones continued to push forward and the two styles gelled well to create a small hall classic.
After ten rounds, referee-for-the-evening Kevin Parker gave Beech the nod and crowned him Midlands Area Featherweight Champion. The fight also doubled up as an English Title Eliminator meaning the Bloxwich boxer will have eyes on national honours in 2020.
Five fights made up the undercard in a sell-out Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium.
Tipton’s Ricky Summers returned to the ring with a bang. The 32 year-old former British Title Challenger made light work of the usually durable Raimonds Sniedze. ‘Digger’, looking to put a disappointing draw against Lawrence Osueke behind him claimed the centre of the ring and worked off his trademark spear like jab. As the fight progressed, Summers began to put his shots together and caught his Latvian opponent with a short hook to the head that took him off his feet. Sniedze beat the ten count but simply postponed the inevitable as Summers pounced and referee Parker waved this one off in the third round. Summers will have his eyes on a return to title action in the New Year.
Burntwood prospect Troi Coleman put on a classy performance against Lancashire’s Sam Omidi. The 24 year-old middleweight extended his record to 6-0 with a confident display.
Coleman came out strong from the first bell and used his long jab to put his punches together. Straight punches worked to good affect for The Hawk who recorded a 40-36 shut-out win on Parker’s card.
Telford’s Liam Davies also moved to 6-0 with a hard fought victory over Romania’s Stefan Nicolae. The prospect wasn’t quite at his best but still boxed well against a strong and awkward opponent. Nicolae, a 25 fight veteran, made Davies work hard for every minute of this six rounder and the 23 year-old will have learned much from his latest outing, which he won 59-55.
Stoke’s Cole Johnson impressed against fellow BCB fighter, Dean Jones.
The Kid Chaos, under the watchful eye of Steve Woodvine, boxed well throughout against the always game Jones. Intelligent positioning and keeping a good distance, the Stoke fighter had forced Jones onto the defensive and was worthy of his shut-out win.
Worcester’s Owen Cooper impressed once again as he moved top 2-0. The 19 year-old took on the busy Fonz Alexander, who was competing for the 116th time in just his fifth year as a professional boxer. Cooper was just 13 when Alexander made his pro debut but dominated throughout this four round contest. Strong at the weight, Cooper boxed well behind a disciplined style and, as always, Fonz’s ‘come to win’ approach made for an exciting contest, which Cooper won convincingly on Parker’s scorecard.