LEAVING any memories of Mexico far behind Sheffield’s Tommy Frank turned his attention to domestic matters at Ponds Forge and duly secured the vacant British flyweight title with a fine performance to see off Birmingham’s always gutsy but ultimately outgunned Matt Windle.
It wasn’t until Tommy, already well ahead, took his foot off the gas in the sixth that I gave Matt a round. His cause hadn’t been helped in the second session when a right sent him to one knee and, by the mid-way point, he was nursing a nasty swelling below the right eye.
Frank might have eased off a little in the sixth and there wasn’t a deal of daylight between the pair in the ensuing couple of rounds, but by the ninth he was back on the front foot and increasingly dominant, especially so in the closing round after stunning Matt with a right cross mid-session. Judges Mike Alexander, Howard Foster and Terry O’Connor all, as expected, had it wide in Tommy’s favour at the finish and turned in cards reading 117-111, 118-109 and 117-110 respectively. Man in the middle was Bury’s John Latham.
It was apparent from a fairly early stage that the punches of German heavyweight Roman Gorst didn’t carry sufficient weight to trouble Kash Ali. The question then was how long it would take the heavy-handed Rotherham man to break him down and get the job done.
The answer came in the seventh of a scheduled 10 when Gorst, a metaphorical mile behind on the cards and struggling to brush off the effect of a thunderous right which left him with a suspected fractured jaw, opted to remain on his stool. Doncaster referee Michael Alexander accepted his retirement. Could Kash have finished it earlier? Probably, as he was hesitant too often and reluctant to follow in on several occasions but I suspect that won’t particularly concern him with the job having been done.
Grimsby’s Levi Giles looked good against Sandhurst’s Jonny Phillips and celebrated after taking all eight rounds on the card of referee Howard Foster. Phillips, who chatted throughout beckoned Levi in regularly after being tagged, is a tough cookie. He took everything that came his way, which was plenty, without ever looking like wilting. I thought Jonny might have nicked a share of a quieter third in what turned out to be a decent scrap but that aside it was the Humberside puncher, as busy late on as he had been at the start, who remained in the ascendancy.
Previously unbeaten Sheffield cruiser Perry Howe came unstuck in the evening’s curtain raiser, in-form Derby man Nathan Junor silencing the locals by securing a stoppage victory with 39 seconds of the third round still remaining.
The omens hadn’t looked good late in the previous session with Perry proving increasingly hittable and when Nathan slammed home a right and followed up with a punishing burst that robbed Perry of his senses in a neutral corner referee Mr Alexander was in hand to execute a perfectly timed stoppage. It had been slated for six rounds.
Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jnr had impressed me last time, looking the best I’d seen him and he excelled once more in another scheduled six against two fight Oldbury novice Jahfibus Faure. Relaxed and mixing it up nicely, Michael quickly took control. He closed out the one-sided second with an eye-catching combination which began with a trio of weighty rights, ended with a whipping right uppercut, and he proved especially dominant as the bell to end the next approached.
My notes at the conclusion of the third read ‘Matter of time’ and 40 seconds later it was all over as Faure, under-fire on the ropes and throwing nothing by way of reply, left referee Howard Foster with no other option but to intervene.
After the best part of two years without a fight, Sheffield’s Shakiel Thompson was in no mood for hanging around. He needed just 57 seconds of a scheduled four to see off Pavel Albrecht from Brno in the Czech Republic.
Albrecht, down from a punishing body shot and a follow up barrage to the head, hauled himself upright in time to beat the count of third man Mr Foster. Or so it seemed. Just a second or so after the action recommenced, and still feeling the effects of that initial shot downstairs, he had second thoughts and dropped to his knees once more.
A pair of bouts overseen by Mike Alexander ended in shutout points victories. Limerick welter Lee Reeves picked up a 60-54 win over Brierley Hill’s busy MJ Hall in an all-southpaw encounter. The Irishman, busy throughout and best by a distance, bloodied Matthew’s nose slightly late on. Ashton-under-Lyne’s English light-heavyweight champion Charlie Schofield ticked over with a routine 40-36 win over Lydney’s always entertaining Lewis van Poetsch.
The Verdict Tommy Frank scores memorable victory to rule his country.