“They came here, got beat and now they have to pay to go back over the bridge” was the words cheekily spoken from Gavin Gwynne’s Trainer Tony Borg as Wales overcame England on a great night of action at the Newport Centre.
There was a last minute change to the schedule as Robbie Turley was deemed unable to compete due to health reasons after losing so much weight in preparation for his Commonwealth title challenge of Ashley Lane, It meant Welsh champion Gavin Gwynne got the nod to headline against English champion Myron Mills, which pitted the two nations against one another.
A rivalry which has spanned generations was ignited once more as both came into the contest with intentions on keeping their unbeaten record and a chance to fight for the British title.
Mills started the better of the two men, using his fast hands to gain an advantage over the oncoming Gwynne, countering effectively whilst picking his shots beautifully as he rocked back the head of the Welshman on occasion.
Continuing the trend Mills landed a hard uppercut in the third which bounced off the head of Gwynne who regardless still continued to exert pressure, punctuated the round by landing a solid right hand of his own.
Gwynne had now started to adapt to the tactics employed by Mills, instead of waiting to be countered he was now landing the telling blows at the end of each exchange. Mills on occasion would switch stances in a bid to puzzle Gwynne but for the most part, it was unsuccessful, by the midway point Gwynne was on the ascendency, looking by far the better of the two men as he poured on the pressure.
Sure he may have a G missing from his nickname but ‘Double G’ employed the same pressure tactic as the great ‘Triple G’ (Gennady Golovkin), using his feet to corner and pressure Mills for three minutes of each of the ten round distance, whereas like the old saying goes “Pressure Bursts Pipes” which was evidently happening here.
To all intents and purposes, Gwynne broke the heart of Mills who was unable to deal with the wave after wave of attack from the Treharris man. In the end, the scorecards reflected the bout with scores of 97-93, 96-94 and 96-94.
Afterwards, Gwynne told S4C “This is a life changing fight and one that pushes me into the top ten in Britain” when asked about the next step, without missing a beat Gwynne stated that he wants a shot at the British title saying “I know I can outbox Ritson, He’s one dimensional and we saw that in his last fight, I’m confident of going into that fight and winning it so that’s the fight I want”
Tony Dixon woke up on Sunday morning a two weight Welsh champion after an encapsulating contest left all in attendance on the edge of their seat, in one of this year’s best spectacles in his decision win over Kiaran Gething.
Bad Blood coming into the contest meant there were extra bragging rights on offer as both men made their intentions known from the sound of the first bell in an all-action opener.
Dixon immediately started to sit down on his shots, throwing hook after hook whilst Gething remained patiently behind the jab, mixing in the occasional body shot, in the hope that it would pay dividends in the later rounds.
The respect that had been missing before the bout had returned at the end of the second round as both men touched gloves with a nod in the others direction in acknowledgement of one another’s actions.
In the third, Gething landed a hook which had Dixon momentarily off balance, perhaps giving the impression that the Pontypridd resident had made the breakthrough but Dixon fired back with tenacity, the round drawing to a close with both men landing big shots against the ropes.
Gething was now sporting a cut above his left eyebrow as the action continued at a frantic pace going into the fourth. Another trading of shots presented itself, this time allowing Dixon to time a perfect right hand that dropped Gething, a shot that would have ended most bouts, but not this one, Gething made it to his feet showing his heart for the occasion, going back to work as Dixon poured on the attack but found a fighter more than willing to answer the questions asked of him, not looking to hold he come back with shots of his own.
Gething continued to come forward using pressure to manoeuvre Dixon on to the back foot, but the jab was key for the ‘Welsh Terrier’ a lot is reported on Dixon’s power but one pleasing aspect was his jab which everything worked off, a snapping jab which often found its target.
Gething was invested in his work to the body, two, in particular, found a home under the ribcage of Dixon in the eighth which brought a slight grimace from the Aberdare man.
Towards the tail end of the bout, both men now fought on sheer instinct, following one another around the ring, throwing a multitude of shots as the bout came to its climax of the last round where Dixon’s support rose its octaves that spurred Dixon on to land a succession of combinations which took the closer which became pivotal in gaining the nod from the referee of 95-94.
Dixon said afterwards that the respect for Gething had returned especially after getting off the canvas saying “I take my hat off to him, he got hit with a stomping right hand which not many people would have got up from” before going onto say “It’s pointless in giving me a challenge because it gives me a reason to overcome it”
Which is exactly what he did, in one of this year’s very best encounters. Rematch anyone?
Combinations looked and sounded as if they had been shot from an Uzi was the order of the day, all of which were caught by the defenceless Tanzanian who bore forward before getting turned around and hit with another of the multiple shots thrown by ‘AC Superstar’.
It was the first time in Yahaya’s career to date that he had been stopped, but I’m guessing that he has never come across a fighter as talented as the Barry man who put the finishing touches to his nights work with a combination which had Yahaya hanging on before referee Chris Jones saved him from any more punishment.
Andrew said following the two round masterclass that he wanted more rounds to perfect his shot placing before showing a willingness to get back in the gym in readiness for his WBC final eliminator against Julio Cesar Martinez, saying “I’m back in the gym on Tuesday, maybe I’ll even go for a run tomorrow”
Evans started confidently, using the jab well to keep Tomms on the backfoot but Tomms was in no mood to be the fall guy on the night as he uncorked two left hands that shook Evans in the contests opener.
The writing was on the wall, Evans was open to a shot, one which was administered perfectly in the second by Toms who detonated a left hand that dropped Evans. The Cardiff man returned to his feet but was soon to be stopped as he slumped into the ropes following the barrage of shots that came his way courtesy of Toms who secured his biggest win to date.
Edagha who had only been stopped three times in his 42 losses was a figure of frustration for Goodridge who couldn’t land anything significant enough to secure the victory. Edagha had his best round in the last of the four rounder but the thought from all around ringside was that Goodridge had done enough, perhaps even Edagha had thought as much as his face lit up at the announcement of the draw.
It rounded off a completely frustrating time for Goodridge who should have been fighting for the Welsh title only to have both opponents scheduled to pull out for different reasons.
Andrewjevs in truth was a soft touch of an opponent, one which was bizarre as he employed strange tactics throughout, ducking lower than a limbo dancer was the case in point but nevertheless, Thorley with the teachings of new trainer Gary Lockett stayed composed and got the job done in the second as the Latvian sagged along the ropes after shipping a couple of well-placed shots, referee Chris Jones ended proceedings as all eyes now turn to bigger fish in the divisions hierarchy.
Featherweight Kristian Touze got back in the win column following his disputed draw with Alec Bazza last time out, this time there was no controversy as he outpointed Leed’s Russ Midgley over four rounds.
Touze used his ring smarts and his counter punching to good effect throughout whilst having to endure a nasty looking cut from shall we say rugged tactics of the away fighter. nevertheless, Touze did more than enough to secure a score of 40-36.
Ashley Lane’s demotion to the undercard witnessed him give a professional effort in decisioning the late replacement Ricky Leech. The fight went the distance but was never in danger of upsetting the odds, Lane staying composed throughout, using his better shot selection to gain the upper hand from the opener as he recorded a decision of 40-36.
Robbie Vernon announced himself to the paid ranks with a performance which JD Jones had no answer to, The young prospect from the St Joes gym in Newport went on the offensive as soon as the bell sounded, landing shots that caught Jones cold.
Jones who was looking to finally get a win under his belt with the new trainer of Stephen Robinson in his corner was unable to get anything going as he was taken over by the offence of Vernon who was landing an assortment of shots which had referee Chris Jones diving in to save Jones from further punishment.
Jake Tinklan finally made his introduction to the professional ranks and what an introduction to get excited about. Tinklan with former world champion Gavin Rees in tow swept away the challenge of Ricky Rose, giving a mature performance more advanced than his years in his debut.
Tinlan employed a great jab from the start, working off the shot with a solid right hand that quite frankly Rose was unable to combat. In the last of the four rounder, Tinklan decided to give a grandstand finish as he dropped Rose heavily, Rose to his credit somehow made it to his feet but on unsteady legs against a fighter looking to finish the bout within the distance but Rose somehow made it through the contest upright. It was an impressive showing from Tinklan, one which bodes well for his future in the sport.
In conclusion, Merit must be given to Saniger Events for another great show which had all the thrills and spills of a rollercoaster of an evening from Newport, sending all home satisfied by the showing and more than recouping their monies worth in action.
Photos Courtesy of Huw Fairclough / Getty Images