Head clash halts Hillman in Southern Area featherweight title fight
Sidcup’s Martin Hillman (9-4) suffered from a dangerous looking head swelling in his Southern Area featherweight title fight after a head clash with former titleholder Jamie Speight (15-11) at Mote Park Leisure Centre on May 29th.
Kingsteington’s Speight (15-11) ruined the 26-year-old home fighter’s dream of lifting the coveted Southern Area strap with a 10th-round stoppage after referee Ian John-Lewison stepped in to stop the fight, concerned for Hillman after suffering a bad swelling on the head.
The doctor had allowed the injured fighter to continue after a lump appeared on his forehead but following two more targeted shots from Speight, the referee stepped in to call an end to the contest.
Hillman was aggressive and courageous, as usual, but ‘The Genius’ was too intelligent and advanced for him on the night.
Kent’s Hillman fought for the honours once before at the weight division above against undefeated super-featherweight Boy Jones Jr (10-0-1), losing widely on points.
This was his second crack at the Southern Area championship back down to his natural weight limit of 126lbs, but he suffered another heartbreak as the prestigious title – the oldest prize in British boxing – left the venue with his opponent, yet again.
The Devonian has had a long relationship with the very same title having held it during 2014-2016, only losing hold of it last December when Josh Kennedy forced a stoppage in the third-round of their meeting at York Hall.
After just five months apart, Speight has been reunited with his belt, meaning that he is now a two-time Southern Area featherweight titlist as well as a two-weight Southern Area champion.
Chief support on the seven-fight card, titled ‘Mayhem’, witnessed the return of unbeaten heavyweight Dave Jones who moved up to 8-0 by defeating Czech heavyweight contender Tomas Mrazek (10-62-6) on points over six-rounds.
The winner marched forward continuously and landed jabs and body shots in abundance. It was a controlled and dominated performance from the undefeated heavyweight.
Injury had kept the 35-year-old from Queenborough out for almost a full year, he picked up the British Challenge belt with an eight-round points win over Jiri Svacina (12-19) in his last bout in June 2016.
Jones, a former army boxer, is eyeing Southern Area honours and has already triumphed over a Midlands Area champion when he beat Paul Butlin (16-20-1) on points in March 2015.
Former Team GB boxer Luke Gibb (2-0) doubled his win tally with another impressive and sharp display of his skills. His amateur schooling shone through his slick performance with intelligent movement, accurate shots, skilful switch-hitting, constantly changing from orthodox to southpaw effortlessly.
The popular super-lightweight triumphed over Sheffield’s Qasim Hussein (4-72-2) on points, to add to his debut win last February against seasoned veteran Ibrar Riyaz (4-114-4).
Super-featherweight Chris Matthews (7-0) continued his unbeaten streak with a points win over Croatian Antonio Horvatic (10-37) despite having to box with just one arm in the final round.
The 22-year-old injured his right arm after a slip and had to box clever in the fourth round to see out the victory scored at 39-37.
Southpaw Charlie Shane, 25-years-old from Chatham, moved up to 4-0 against last-minute stand-in opponent Curtis Gargano (0-35-1) with a points win in another four-rounder.
His original opponent dropped out the day before so Gargano – half a stone heavier – stepped in to save the day.
The Chatham puncher showed a massive improvement with new trainer Charlie Rumbol in the corner.
Leysdown’s Louis Greene (7-0) was too strong for Slovakian Rudolf Durica (1-9), stopping him in fifth-round.
The Kent talent, a former Haringey Box Cup winner, was entertaining and exciting, as always, showing plenty of promise and aggression to halt his man. He was too dominant right from the opening bell and has quite possibly outgrown the small hall shows now.
Margate’s Ricky Leach (3-18-1) evened the score with Jules Phillips (1-7) with a points win after losing to him in March this year.
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