Cefn Forest has it’s own Commonwealth champion in Robbie Turley (18-6, 4 kO’s) who was sensational in his ninth round stoppage win over Lincolnshire’s Bobby Jenkinson (10-2-1) at the Newport Leisure Centre on Friday night.
Headlining the Saniger promotional event, Super Bantamweight Turley passed the “Acid test” with flying colours to bring a rousing support to their feet in acknowledgement of achieving a lifelong dream.
Turley, 30, for the duration of the contest was playing chess whilst Jenkinson was playing checkers, the Welshman always a move or two ahead.
Jenkinson employed an aggressive approach to the contest, closing the gap immediately as the bell sounded, it was that aggression which played into the hands of Turley who would often walk him on to his hard counters.
Jenkinson for all his bluster didn’t ask a lot of questions of Turley who capitalised on some sloppy footwork that dropped him to the canvas in the second. Jenkinson complained that his brief visit to the ring apron was because of a slip but referee Victor Loughlin counted on regardless.
Thereafter Jenkinson tried to ruffle the feathers of Turley, bundling the latter to the floor and throwing the occasional shot south of the border which earned him a talking to from the man in charge.
Going into the sixth, Turley was now finding his range with regularity, Jenkinson’s face told the story of a tough night’s work with bruising and a bloodied nose there for all to see.
The writing was on the wall for the away fighter, drowned out by the rumbustious support, Turley dug in a solid body shot which dropped the Englishman to his knee’s before the towel came in shortly after from his corner, crowning Turley the fourth man to hold a title in the talent-rich gym at St Joseph’s, following in the footsteps of IBF Champ Lee Selby, British Champion Andrew Selby and European King Craig Evans.
In a shootout, Super Lightweight Richie Canning (6-0-1) did enough throughout the six rounder to take a rather wide decision on the scorecard of 59-54 over the durable Lee Connolly (6-22-2).
Canning dropped Connelly on route to the decision but didn’t have things all his own way as Connolly frequently fought fire with fire, shunting the head back of the home fighter on occasion.
Canning picked up the pace later in the contest, listening to his corner who instructed him to get back behind the jab which worked well in him taking the decision, albeit rather wider than I initially thought.
It was your typically composed performance from one of Wales’ best prospects, “Sexual Chocolate” Morgan Jones (10-0, 4 KO’s), who became just the second fighter to stop Harry Matthews (14-22-2) in the visitors 40th professional encounter.
Jones sporting a blonde mohawk, jabbed sporadically throughout the early stages of the contest with a whip like jab that he would bring up from his waist but could be guilty of being a little inactive for his corner who shouted for him to up the pace.
Matthews offered very little in terms of putting a digit in the loss column of the unbeaten record of Jones but would find a hook from time to time to keep the Aberdare fighter honest.
Jones did listen to the instruction from his corner, upping his work-rate accordingly after the third, stepping in with more punishing shots before a right hook, body shot brought Matthews to his knees, a position he stayed in until the referee’s count completed its sequence.
Fonz Alexander (5-52-0, 3 KO’s) welcomed JD Jones (0-1) to professional boxing with a thudding right hand which dropped the debutant without a glimmer of hope of him returning to his feet.
Jones was in control of the contest up until the point he wasn’t, using a quick jab to keep Alexander from planting his feet before mixing in shots to the head and body of the away fighter.
It was encouraging from the Jamie Arthur trained fighter who up until the fourth round of his professional debut had never felt the coolness of the ring apron on his back in an amateur career that consisted of more than 50 contests.
Alexander bided his time, throwing the occasional heavy right hand before it’s full velocity was felt in the fourth which half spun around Jones before dropping to the canvas.
Referee Reece Carter immediately waved his hands in an indication of an abrupt end to the contest as all waited with baited breath to see Jones return to his unsteady feet.
Fight fans didn’t have to wait long for the first upset of the night as St Joseph’s Jason Sillett (5-1) who up until the third, looked to be on course for a comfortable points win, was rocked and stopped in the third by the unfancied Joe Ducker (2-3-2, 1 KO’s).
Ducker stunned Sillett with a right hand which put half his body through the ropes before the follow-up barrage had referee Martin Williams calling a halt to proceedings.
Successive losses for the talented Sillett who was beaten in November by Henry Janes.
It was a Confident debut from Callum Busuttil (1-0) to kick start proceedings, the youngster showing patience in setting up his numerous combinations which served to redden the face of Andy Harris (3-43-1) on route to his points win.
The visitor was game for the duration of the contest but ultimately outgunned as he circled in an obvious effort to make it to the final bell, a feat which was accomplished but on the wrong end of a wide decision in favour of the Jamie Arthur trained prospect.
Making your debut in front of your hometown support must have been nervous but not that you would know so from Daniel Barton (1-0) who impressed in stopping the winless Jacob Lucas (0-7).
A left hook hammering home the win as it detonated on the jaw of Lucas who dropped to the canvas on impact. Lucas showed heart in somehow making it to his feet but his legs betrayed him as referee Martin Williams signalled the end to the nights closer.
Highlights of the Friday’s event will be shown on S4C’s Y Ffeit programme on Wednesday 12th April.