Knockout For Woolridge

The ‘Pride of Bloxwich’ Ryan Woolridge got his first career stoppage with a devastating two-round blowout of Martin Shaw at the Bescot Stadium on the BCB Promotions ‘Rising Stars’ show Saturday night.

Taking the main event slot at his beloved Walsall FC, the 23-year-old southpaw made a confident start switching between body and head, using his jab to keep Shaw at a distance. Most of Woolridge’s previous eight opponents showed very little offensive ambition, focusing on tucking up and staying out of harm’s way, but not Rotherham’s Shaw. He always comes to fight, win, lose, or draw, and he did his best to fire back and try to get inside the taller man.

This style suited Woolridge, who was landing some crisp straight left hands in the second round, which forced Shaw to try and hold and slow the pace down, but to no avail. When the finish came, it was emphatic. Woolridge manoeuvred Shaw against the ropes and unloaded a lethal combination of nine unanswered punches; the last one saw Shaw slump through the ropes and on to the side of the ring apron.

Referee Peter McCormack immediately waived off the fight, and the medics administered aid to the stricken Shaw. Fortunately, he was soon up on his feet and received warm applause from the black country crowd. The official time of the stoppage was 1.32 in round two.

during the BCB Promotions Rising Stars Show at Walsall FC on 24th Feb 2024

Now unbeaten in nine and with talks of a big fight next. Woolridge was pleased with his performance and is looking ahead to a big 2024.

“I was happy with that; it is what we train to do everything in motion. I have had some top sparring, and training has gone well. It has been a tough camp with a lot going on outside the ring, so it felt good to get the win in that way. I want to keep learning and see what comes next. I’ll speak to my team and Errol Johnson and stay active and see what comes next.”.

Another fighter getting his first stoppage on the card was Liam Gould, who feels he is ready for a shot at a title next, and he looked in excellent form, halting Shane Smith in the fifth of their scheduled six rounder. The 25-year-old from Coseley is unbeaten in five and has yet to lose a single round since turning professional back in 2022.

during the BCB Promotions Rising Stars Show at Walsall FC on 24th Feb 2024

A body shot in the first round seemed to hurt Smith, who was boxing the six round distance for the first time in what was just his second fight. Gould showed patience, and despite having his opponent hurt several times, he didn’t jump in and was very measured in his approach. A knockdown felt like it was coming and in round four, a pair of body shots forced Smith to the canvas.

Gould had Smith hurt again in the fifth, and he launched a series of punches that put him down for the second time, this time in his own corner. He bravely made it to his feet, but he couldn’t recover his legs, and Gould swarmed him with more punches, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 2.07 in round five.

Jay Griffiths made it a fantastic four wins from four, with a shut-out points win against Dan Belcher in their four-round bout 40-36. The ‘Baggie Boy’ who lives in Wombourne boxed nicely, showing an improved shot selection and advances to the technical side of his game. Belcher, who was making his professional debut, slowed the action down and gave little in the way of attacking output, never looking likely to trouble the scorecards.

during the BCB Promotions Rising Stars Show at Walsall FC on 24th Feb 2024

There was a bit of disappointment for Henry Rogerson, who was forced to settle for a draw on his professional debut, but he will have gained a lot from his four round tear up with Jahfieus Faure. Bringing an army of fans down from Crewe, there was a superb atmosphere in the venue as the 21-year-old stepped through the ropes.

Rogerson started brightly, but Faure was making him fight at a ferocious pace as both men landed solid blows. The South Cheshire ABC fighter was starting to tire as the fight wore on, and Faure sensed an upset. It was a firefight down the stretch, and after four pulsating rounds, the referee couldn’t split them, seeing it 38-38.

Jasmin Harmitt moved on to two wins from two with a points win over Kerry Orton. The 26-year-old from Dudley Port boxed well throughout and maintained a high work rate with some nice foot movement that kept her well out of Ortons range. It was a solid night’s work, and the Southpaw Gym talent was only denied a shutout due to one round being seen even with the referee scoring the contest 40-37.

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