Home Boxing News Return of the Welsh Warriors

Return of the Welsh Warriors

Gary Buckland vs Innocent Anyanwu

Boxing once again was centre stage in Newport, South Wales, as the Steve Sims and Tony Borg promoted bill provided an action packed evening of closely fought contests.

Justyn Hugh successfully ripped the Welsh Light Heavyweight title from Jeff Evans on Saturday night, in Newport, in a hard fought, back and forth affair. Hugh finally broke the resistance of Evans, midway through the eighth round of an excellent, crowd-pleasing fight.

Hugh started fast in the first round working well behind an aggressive, fast jab. In the second there were fierce exchanges as both men stood their ground and tried to impose themselves. Hugh tried to land with the looping right but Evans right hand was faster and straighter and caught Hugh hard, prompting Evans to up the pace. As he did he was caught with a hard left hook in retaliation from Hugh. It was excellent action, which got the crowd fired up.

In the middle rounds Evans seemed to be getting off first, which further inspired his impressive support, but Hugh was finding the target with hard punches and was finding the incumbent champion’s torso with impressive regularity. Rounds were always close but Evans was the man who appeared to be scoring the points with his quicker hands and feet. Both men were capable of hurting the other and did so on many occasions, with both more than willing to take one to land one.

Evans was trying to control the distance and get off first but Hugh was keeping himself in it, executing spiteful punches to the body. In the seventh round Evans seemed to be tiring and early in the eighth he absorbed a solid left hook from Hugh. The St Joseph’s fighter was buoyant and suddenly stepped up his attack. Fighting from ring centre, Hugh found a big right hand, which caused Evans to slump against the ropes. Hugh instantly recognised his chance and kept him there with an accurate assault, which prompted the referee to jump between them and bring a halt to the contest at 2.11 of the round. Contest was set for 10 and both men weighed 174 lbs.

Heading the undercard, Danny Butler impressively stopped the unbeaten Frankie Borg to take the International Masters Super Middleweight Title. Butler fought at a high pace and repeatedly got off first while Borg, stalked and pressed forward, looking for the bigger punches. Borg looked the bigger athlete and while he had success he failed to really pin Butler down. Butler was working very hard though, right from the first bell and as the fight went in to the middle rounds, the question seemed to be, could he maintain this work rate?

Butler did start to show signs of fatigue as Borg continued to bring the pressure, but Butler brought the action to a sudden climax as he whipped a shot to the chin right under the defences of the Cardiff boxer, leaving him on the floor. Frankie Borg bravely regained his feet but the referee called a halt to the contest at 1.13 of round number 8. Butler moves to 20-5 while Borg slips to 6-1.

British Super Featherweight champion Gary Buckland boxed very well over 8 rounds against Innocent Anyanwu, winning 79-74 for referee Clarke Joslyn.

Buckland showed fast hands and good feet to keep his Dutch opponent firmly under wraps for the eight rounds. With Buckland finding the body with both hands right from the early going, it didn’t appear that Anyanwu would last the course but he showed a solidity and toughness which was admirable, even if his output was sparse. Against such a cautious but solid opponent, Buckland exhibited his boxing skills, which he does not always get credit for. Working with speed and accurate punching, Buckland put together impressive combinations to keep Anyanwu firmly under wraps throughout the eight rounds.

Buckland went down in the sixth round when a cuffing punch caused him to touch down and, although it did seem more a question of balance than being truly hurt, the referee called a knockdown and started to count. Buckland was straight back to his feet and finished the round strongly.

It was a good run out for Buckland who defends his British Super Featherweight Title against Stephen Foster Jr in October. Buckland is now 26-2.

British Masters Welterweight Champion Chris Higgs maintained his unbeaten record, taking every round in a 4x3s bout against Jerome Samuels. As the bout began, Samuels’ advantage in height looked like it might be an issue but Higgs quickly found his distance and used the jab to work his way in close. When he got there he unloaded strongly to the head and body of Samuels. Higgs now is now 12-0 and Samuels is 1-2.

Mitchell Buckland made good use of the southpaw stance to defeat Craig Woodruff. Buckland set a quick pace and used good variety to keep Woodruff guessing, winning 40-36.

Adam Goldsmith had a tough debut encounter with Dai Jones, eventually winning 39-38. Jones came out fast and put the pressure on the Newport man, looking to land hard shots and take the confidence away from the youngster but Goldsmith settled in and landed hard, accurate shots as the bout went on. Jones competed well but looked hurt as the bout drew to a close.

Heavyweight Dorian Darch started fast against Istvan Ruzsinszky, of Hungary and a combination to the body seemed to knock the confidence out of Ruzsinszky before a solid right hand dropped him into the ropes. Darch quickly applied the pressure and sent Ruzsinszky down. Ruzsinszky made it back to his feet but the referee correctly stopped the contest. Darch moves to 5-0.

An enjoyable night’s action with an excellent standard of boxing, this showed the strength of the current Welsh scene. All who were there will look forward to the next big night.

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