Gibbens and Bennett boost Bognor boxing scene

Alex Gibbens has maintained his winning run in the ring
Alex Gibbens has maintained his winning run in the ring
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Two Bognor boxing prospects have extended their respective unbeaten runs.

Alex Gibbens and Andrew Bennett fight out of Riley’s gym on the town’s seafront and are delighted by their latest successes.

Gibbens made it five straight wins with a performance showing plenty of bravery and skill against Croydon’s Ryan Joe Walsh at Hove town hall.

In a fairly even first round, Gibbens came on strongly in the latter half of the round – catching Walsh with a good variation of punches from different angles.

In the second, Gibbens produced a masterclass beating Walsh to the jab and adding more snap to his work as Walsh received warnings from the referee for use of the head, which resulted in swelling over the top of the right eye of Gibbens.

Despite the swelling Gibbens still produced the classier work and higher work-rate, landing chopping upper-cuts through the middle of Walsh’s guard.

As the swelling got worse Walsh continued to dig his head into Gibbens but the Bognor battler, known for never being in a dull fight, stepped up his game, catching Walsh with frequent accuracy in the third. The referee took a close look at Walsh’s weary legs as he returned to his corner.

In the last round both were firing but Gibbens’ superior fitness enabled him to finish the contest strongly and win 39-37 on the referee’s scorecard.

The second Rileys success was from Bennett, who was called up for international duty in Sweden.

He took the fight with 24 hours’ notice but upset all the odds by beating unbeaten Swede Stefan Schallengruber in his own back yard.

The Bognor man’s awkward southpaw style and heavy body shots left Schallengruber gasping for air several times in the duration of the four-round contest. With fast, slick and aggresive boxing, Bennett took the bout 39-37.

Coach Faz Chitima believes the pair – both on a Southampton bill on June 30 – will bring excitement to local fight fans. Tickets from Faz Chitima on 07803 064644.