Hebden Bridge Boxing Club are celebrating having a Yorkshire title-holder in their ranks following Luke Keleher’s ABA success over Danny Pickup of the White Rose club in the new 69kg category at Knottingley’s SYD Ringside venue.
Keleher, 25, is a renowned amateur fighter and in the last three weeks he has racked up three convincing wins, including his unanimous victory at Knottingley which secured his first belt.
Pickup displayed a lot of heart throughout and came out from the opening bell with conviction. The first round saw the two fighters strive to control the centre of the ring, Keleher coming out on top but being made to work hard for it.
Keleher maintained an advantage in the second round, but Pickup managed to land some good combinations and deftly turned around off the ropes when under attack.
The next round saw Keleher take full control, increasing the speed of his flurries and landing consistent body and head shots.
He received a warning from the referee towards the end of the round for having his head too low, and seemed to work extra hard after this – unleashing a barrage of blows on Pickup, causing the referee to jump in and give Pickup a standing count of eight.
Keleher kept up the onslaught and by the final bell had proved himself a clear and deserving winner.
The evening proved particularly fruitful for Hebden Bridge as Connor Gravenor, in his first ever bout, also scored a superb first round win by knockout over Aiden Bowe, also of White Rose, in the 70k weight division.
The two fighters took a minute to find their feet, Gravenor trying to find his range with some straight one-two combinations.
In the second half of the first round Bowie managed to land some good combinations of his own, catching Gravenor with several solid shots.
Gravenor’s bleeding nose slowed him temporarily, his breathing slightly affected, and the referee stepped in to clean his face before allowing him to continue.
Gravenor responded immediately, landing two heavy right hands on Bowie.
The first right to the body landed clean and powerfully, the second right connecting flush with Bowie’s jaw, knocking him out on his feet.
The referee was quick to step in and prevent Bowie from falling to the floor, leading him back to his stool where he was sat down and quickly checked out by the ringside doctor.
Some minutes later both fighters reconvened in the middle of the ring and Gravenor was awarded the fight.