Midlands Title Wins For Osbourne-Edwards & Griffiths

It was coronation night for the ‘Kundalini King’ as Jermaine Osbourne-Edwards won his first championship belt, the Midlands Area Super Lightweight title, with a points win against Jamie Stewart at the Hangar Venue in Wolverhampton.

The 34-year-old from the city has been on an incredible journey since turning professional three years ago and faced the toughest test of his career against the vastly experienced Stewart, who was boxing in his seventh area title fight.

Entering the ring alongside his family in dramatic fashion to an Icelandic clap from the packed-out crowd, and with the familiar drum-beat ring music, Osbourne-Edwards looked full of confidence.

The early rounds were a feeling-out process for both as they looked to establish their jabs and close down the distance. Stewart from Stoke-on-Trent has quick hands and good foot speed and looked to flick out the right hand against his southpaw opponent, staying out of range and dipping in and out with success.

Holding the centre of the ring, Osbourne-Edwards started to find home with his powerful left hand, and although he wasn’t landing anything concussive, he was landing plenty of point-scoring shots. The middle rounds saw Stewart starting to up his work rate, but he was seeing a lot of his punches taken on the gloves.

Coach Richie Carter looked like a calming influence in his corner. The pair have been together since the beginning and have built a close relationship.

It was looking like a bit of a technical chess match between the two skilled operators, but the fight exploded into life in round nine when Osbourne-Edwards landed a big left hand that sent Stewart reeling into the ropes.

The 31-year-old Stewart has never been stopped, managed to regain his senses well, and saw out the round. Osbourne-Edwards was very much in the ascendency and finished the tenth round with a flurry of shots, putting the exclamation mark on what was sure to be a points win.

Referee Chris Dean saw it 96-93 in Osbourne-Edwards favour, and the new champion fell to his knees in tears. There will be bigger things to come for the Wolverhampton Boxing Club star, but it will take some doing to top this special night.

Ryan Griffiths and Lewis Morris put on a superb action-filled ten rounds for the Midlands Area Super Featherweight Title, with the former coming out on top. It was both men’s first championship fight, and there had been plenty of respect between the two in the build-up.

Dudley man Griffiths trains at the BCB gym in Wednesbury. He came in to the fight unbeaten in four but was dropping down two weight divisions and had never boxed past four rounds. Morris from Walsall is a product of Richie Carter’s Wolverhampton Boxing Club and has a slight edge in experience with eight wins from his nine previous fights and having boxed the six-round distance twice.

Griffiths got the better of the early action, using his jab to snap back the head of Morris, who was being forced to work very hard for his own opportunities to land. The rounds flew by at speed with very little in the way of holding, making it an easy night’s work for referee Chris Dean.

At the halfway point, Griffiths was comfortably ahead, but Morris was forcing the pace and landing some nice combinations, but they were being answered with some heavy blows in return. This was uncharted territory for both, but they had prepared well and looked in great condition.

A sense of urgency seemed to hit Morris, and he upped his work rate once again in the ninth and finished the fight strongly. It looked like he had left this late surge a bit too late, and so it was to be as both men raised their hands at the end, thinking they had done enough, but it was Griffiths who took the decision 96-94.

Wolverhampton’s Brandon Bethell picked up his third win as a professional with an impressive display of power punching and stamina as he bludgeoned Simas Volosinas over four rounds.

The 22-year-old who trains out of the TMA Gym looked very sharp, digging in shots to the body, which forced his opponent, a one hundred and twenty-five-fight veteran, to go in to his shell and box on the back foot.

The popular lightweight had sold over three hundred tickets for the show, and his supporters made plenty of noise willing on their man down the stretch.

The knockout was unlikely to come as Volosinas is rarely stopped, but Bethell dominated the action, taking a clear 40-36 points decision.

After a difficult loss to Paddy Donovan last time out, Danny Ball got an important confidence-boosting win, dropping Luke Middleton in the third round en route to a wide-points victory. .

The 27-year-old from Kingswinford looked several levels above his late-notice opponent, his punches flowing with ease and showing a skillset that has seen him already win an English title.

A crisp right hand saw Middleton sent to the canvas, but he recovered, and despite taking some heavy punishment in the fourth round, he survived to the final bell.

There will be tougher tests next for Ball, as he has his sights set on establishing himself in another major title fight, but he handled Friday’s task perfectly, taking the decision 40-35.

Unbeaten Sian O’Toole put on an accomplished four-round display against late stand-in Vaida Masiokaite, opening the show winning the fight on points.

The current Midlands Area featherweight champion showed why a big future is expected of her displaying both her class and a willingness to trade heavy blows when required.

Her Lithuanian opponent had plenty of experience, including a draw with Kirstie Bavington on her ledger, but she was overworked and out-landed by the 24-year-old from Droitwich, who took every round on the referees card, 40-36.

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