Knuckles BKB promoter Seamus Devlin survived a few last minute hiccups to stage a spectacularly high-octane production at Colne Municipal Hall.
Several dropouts on fight night didn’t help proceedings, but the Lacey’s Gym coach runs a tight ship and did exceptionally well to hold it all together.
From the first fight to the last, blood was shed, sweat poured, pain was inflicted, devastating blows were landed, there were knock downs, knockouts, comebacks, cuts and champions.
There were 12 fights, 11 winners, but every single gladiator, regardless of the outcome, left the arena with their heads held high.
“The show was amazing and it definitely topped the last one,” said Seamus. “We had some serious hiccups, though, with three fighters pulling out. In general it was absolutely amazing.”
Conor Nolan didn’t disappoint on his debut as the 17-year-old kicked things off in style. The former Burnley College student, from Colne, showed tremendous heart to come back from two standing eight counts against Nathan Curry.
The stoppages had seemingly sapped the super middleweight’s energy, the fuel tank was running low, but out of nowhere he picked out a peach of a right hook to force the stoppage 80 seconds in to the second round.
Former UBBF Greater Manchester county champion Paddy Devlin went the distance with Peter Hudson in a gloved welterweight contest next.
The 29-year-old lost the verdict unanimously, with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 in favour of Hudson, who had produced the cleaner work and landed more power punches overall.
Tom Monk knocked out Oscar Hope just over a minute in to the second round of their match up and that was a fitting warm up act for the ‘Fight of the Night’ contender which followed.
Brent Doney, on a 12 fight winning streak, and Alec Cunningham went hell for leather over three rounds, but it was Doney who took the decision.
Judges scored the contest 30-26 after the referee was forced to administer Cunningham with a standing count halfway through.
Dwaine Mills and Rorey Roberts shared the spoils in their cruiserweight battle just after the interval while Liam Edmunds didn’t allow a last minute change of opponent impede his focus.
Edmunds, who had been scheduled to take on Lee Gregory, secured a TKO victory over Lewis Beattie with just one second remaining in the first round having already downed his foe with a body shot.
In to fight number eight and the first title of the evening was claimed by Arron Wales. The 24-year-old secured the vacant light middleweight strap after taking all four rounds against Sean O’Reilly. The Spartan fought doggedly, but, in the end, he was beaten by the new emperor.
Alex Devlin, one of seven brothers, out-pointed Danny Payne in their heavyweight joust, which brought the curtain down on the gloved action.
This time, when the show resumed, the gloves were well and truly off. Seamus Devlin protected his middleweight crown up against Phillip Hartley.
The challenger was game, beating away at the body early on as the champion covered up in the corner.
However, Devlin had absorbed all the information he required during that burst and showed his class to pick his opponent of at will.
The belt-holder’s repertoire was perfectly executed, the shot selection was accurate and effective, and Hartley was unable to come out for the second round as a consequence.
The away fighter caught the attention of the referee and was inspected by the medical team in the corner before the contest was waved off.
Hartley was battered, bruised, his nose was bloodied, there was swelling around one eye and a cut above the other.
That, ultimately, is the treatment you’ll come to expect when attempting to take one of Devlin’s prized possessions.
Middleweight Christopher Brown’s ring walk last longer than the fight itself. The 30-year-old made light work of Curtis Leadbetter, connecting with a four-shot combo to floor his opponent in just 30 seconds.
Stumpy Taylor beat Liam Valentine by TKO in the penultimate contest of the show, but the best, by far, was yet to come.
Spectators were seated and orderly when heavyweight champion Corey Harrison and challenger Stevie Gold entered the ring for the headline act.
That wasn’t the case when the pair started to trade blows. These two juggernauts left everything in the ring before Harrison’s cornerman, Elliott Ormerod, was given no other option but to throw in the towel in the fourth round.
|Words: Dan Black. | Photos : (C) Andy Ford