The Rotary Club of Chichester Priory, in partnership with Sussex BA, put on the seventh annual boxing evening at Chichester College. The black-tie boxing dinner doubled up as a fundraiser for youth groups.
Haddow Electrical, the main sponsor, again worked tirelessly on the lighting rig which transformed the venue into a Las Vagas-style arena – a fantastic stage for the young boxers to show their skill.
For the first time in many years the Chichester Boys’ Club had two young boxers taking part, wearing the 1950s club colours of gold and black. The new club have been up and running for just a year but has ten carded boxers and four qualified coaches already. The coaches give up their time three evenings a week at the club in Little London.
Jarred Partridge, head coach, told how proud he was of his young boxers on their first experience of competitive boxing and how well they acquitted themselves.
The event would not take place each year without the help from the likes of Seaward Property, Chichester College, Advance Guarding and the Sussex BA.
Matchmaker George Brown put on a show containing some of the best young boxing talent on the south coast. The evening started with a parade of boxers in the ring with the National Anthem being played.
There was a guest table of vets who had served their country. There were representatives from the Royal Sussex; the Queens; and the Special Air Service Regimental Associations, many of whom had boxed for the boys’ club in the 1950s.
Dave Tilley of the Queens Regiment had commissioned a gun metal trophy for the best boxer of the evening, which he presented to Charlie Martin of Team Wiseman. Trophies for the best bout of the evening went to Alex Cole of Creekside and Ki Grant-Callier of Tenterdon.
The boxers of the 1950s were delighted to see the new boys coming through.
One of the highlights of the evening was a speech by Charlie Monroe. He had won many boxing contests with the boys’ club, the Sussex BA and the army in the 1950s, the golden era of boxing in Chichester when the club had county champions at most weights.
It had been 50 years since Charlie had set foot in a ring and it brought the house down. He said the boxing night was the one event he looked forward to each year and travelled from Leicester to be there.
There were twelve bouts – one junior bout; six rep-match bouts between Sussex BA and Hampshire BA, and five England Boxing championship couts.
Harry Pike, Chichester BC, fought John Henry-Keet of Team Wiseman. The bout was well contested with Pike showing how well he has come on in his training, throwing some good combinations – but it was not enough to convince the judges and Keet was proclaimed the winner.
The representative matches followed.
Ollie Pizzie, Sussex, won by a split decision over F Geal, Hampshire; Ben More, Sussex, won unanimously against Louis Mitchell, Hampshire; Cain Marsh, Sussex, beat George McNamara, Hampshire; Jessie Smith, Sussex, won on points against Felix Duran, Hampshire; Aldan Martinez, Sussex, won on points against Pearce Mundey, Hampshire; Hamza Sheriff, Sussex, lost on points to Pearce Mundey, Hampshire.
That meant a total score of 5-1 to Sussex. All the bouts were well fought and brought a great response from both teams who all came to win and boxed to their best on the night.
The championship bouts were next.
First up, Charlie Martin of Team Wiseman BC took on Harry Hillier of Southampton BC. This was a very good bout fought at a good pace with Hillier using the ring and speed to control the bout, leaving the judges to award him the win.
Jadon Prior of Poseidon BC was up against Lloyd Farrington from Heart of Portsmouth BC. This was a well-contested bout throughout with both boxers giving a lot by way of attack and defence, leaving the judges to give the win to Farrington by way of a split decision.
Alex Cole of Creekside BC took on Ki Grant-Callier of Tenterden BC. This, many thought, was the bout of the night as the two boxers gave their all in the ring. It was a fight of two halves, shifting one way then the other. The judges gave the win to Cole.
Daryl Bath of Poseidon BC and Charles Mugabe of Pound for Pound BC produced a cracker of a bout. It was tit-for-tat all the way through to the last bell. The winner was Bath by a split decision.
Finally Lukas Andriunavisius of Ockley BC fought Sean Thompson of St Gerard’s BC. This was a very well-fought contest with Andriunavisius throwing good combinations and Thompson replying with a lot of ringcraft. The judges awarded Andriunavisius a unanimous decision.
Organisers said a big thank-you to all those that attended an excellent advert for boxing in the area.