BCB Promotions – in association with Fightzone & Fight Academy
Strap Season Fight By Fight Report
Words – Jack Heather
Pictures – Manjit Narotra
Joel McIntyre vs. Ricky Summers
Wolverhampton native Ricky Summers picked up the English light heavyweight title on BCB Promotions’ Strap Season at The Hangar. The show was in association with Fight Academy and Fightzone with the majority of the card shown live on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport App.
Summers bested defending champion Joel McIntyre over 10 rounds in front of a raucous home crowd.
The middle rounds provided the biggest challenge for Summers as McIntyre looked to be the one in control.
But the BCB Promotions managed fighter rallied down the stretch and secured a unanimous decision points win – with all three judges favouring the local fighter – with a dominant showing in the penultimate rounds.
The 35-year-old ‘Digger’ had started the better of the two and landed a beautiful straight right hand midway through the third round that erupted the hometown crowd.
McIntyre would survive the third and fight back admirably in the fourth as he landed a right hand of his own that looked to momentarily buckle the knees of Summers.
Both men continued to exchange hard shots for the remainder of the contest, making for a thoroughly entertaining affair but it was Summers who took control down the stretch.
This was Summers’s second attempt at the title after he was narrowly beaten by Dan Azeez on a split decision in April 2021, a result that looks even more impressive now with Azeez securing the British, Commonwealth and European titles since their encounter.
It was also potentially the last opportunity for the Errol Johnson-trained fighter, who fell to his knees in celebration and emotionally embraced his family as he was declared the winner.
Hannah Rankin vs. Logan Holler
Hannah Rankin featured on the undercard as she defeated American Logan Holler by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.
Rankin was dominant throughout and had Holler hurt numerous times but was unable to become the first person to stop the South Carolina native.
The now 32-year-old made history in 2021 when she became Scotland’s first-ever world champion.
She did subsequently lose her WBA super welterweight world title to Terry Harper in September but now targets another shot at world honours.
Rankin did have to survive a scare in the sixth round after a clash of heads caused a cut above her left eye.
The experienced Glaswegian boxed well for the remainder of the contest, using her trademark jab to excellent effect.
Rankin’s sole knockout loss was at the hands of Claressa Shiels, who many consider one of the greatest female fighters in the history of the sport.
Referee Kevin Parker scored the contest 100-90, favouring the former world champion in every round.
Kirstie Bavington vs. Kandi Wyatt
Canadian Kandi Wyatt denied Wolverhampton’s own Kirstie Bavington a homecoming victory as she secured the vacant WBA intercontinental title in a split decision victory.
The two welterweight contenders contested the belt on BCB’s Strap Season at The Hangar in Wolverhampton.
Bavington is the reigning EBU European champion and entered the contest in a rich vein of form, having won her last four and bested the previously undefeated Naomi Mannes last time out.
‘Bavvo’ started in her usual all-action style and looked to be in control early on as she landed the crisper shots.
But it was Wyatt who took control of the fight in the latter rounds on route to a split decision victory.
Jesus Morata Garcia scored the contest in favour of the Pensnett fighter but fellow officials Phil Edwards and Grzegorz Molenda both scored it 98-92 for the Canadian.
Andy Owen vs. Michael Stephenson
Michael Stephenson claimed the vacant Midlands Area Light Heavyweight Title against Wolverhampton’s Andy Owen on points.
Stephenson had Owen in trouble in the sixth and seventh rounds as he landed multiple body shots that visibly hurt the Perton native.
But the 35-year-old Owen bravely bit down on his gum shield and fought back, even winning some of the later rounds.
Stephenson was declared the winner on referee Kevin Parker’s scorecard, 99-92.
Katie Healy vs. Katherine Quintana
Super bantamweight Katie Healy also featured as she moved to 6-0 as a professional, defeating Colombian Katherine Quintana in dominant fashion.
Healy won every round on referee Mark Lyson’s scorecard, he scored the contest 60-54 in favour of the Bilston native.
The 24-year-old travelled to South Africa in July and secured the WBF world super bantamweight title against Matshidiso Mokebisi.
This was Healy’s first appearance in her hometown of Wolverhampton, and she boxed to the occasion, her quick footwork and in-and-out style made it difficult for Quintana to get close enough to land anything of note.
Healy has a successful career as a kickboxer before transitioning to boxing and now trains out of Trojan Martial Arts Academy in Walsall under the tutelage of Gavin Burrows.
Shannon Willey vs. Petar Aleksandrov
The opening fight of the night at BCB Promotions’ Strap Season show threw up an upset as welterweights Shannon Willey and Petar Aleksandrov fought to a draw over six rounds.
Willey entered the contest as the favourite and the Exeter native did start the brighter of the two.
He landed a lead left hook midway through the opening round that looked to momentarily stun his Bulgarian opponent.
But his Eastern European opponent has ample experience and was able to make it difficult for the home fighter.
Aleksandrov has already proved he is more than capable of the upset; he beat the previously undefeated Nathan Cummisky in Sunderland eight months ago.
Referee Kevin Parker scored the contest 57-57.
Ryan Whitehead vs. ‘Cheeky’ Dwain Grant
Super middleweight Ryan Whitehead was also in action on the undercard, he outpointed the experienced Dwain Grant 60-54.
The 29-year-old from Telford won all six rounds on the referee’s scorecard as he moved to 4-0 as a professional.
Whitehead made his debut in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to proceedings but now is back in regular action, this his third outing in six months.
The father of three fights coached by EBU European champion Liam Davies’ father and former professional, Tristian Davies.
It was a mature performance from Whitehead who was patient and boxed well behind his jab and presented Grant with few opportunities to capitalise on.
Persistent work to the body presented the Telford native with the opportunity for a straight right upstairs and the super middleweight took advantage as he momentarily stunned Grant in the third round.
Gully Powar vs. Liam Richards
Gully Powar was also in action as the Whitemore Reans local outpointed the experienced Liam Richards over four rounds.
Powar lived up to his ‘Relentless’ nickname as he pressed forward and was unlucky to not force the stoppage but for the toughness of Richards.
The 20-year-old had a successful amateur career at Wolverhampton Boxing Club and that pedigree shone through as Powar moved to 3-0.
The referee scored the contest 40-36 as Powar won all four rounds convincingly.