Crash, bang, wallop merchants steal the show at Halifax event

THE best form of defence is attack. That might well be the motto of two of the Halifax Police Boxing Club members in action on Friday’s 13-fight bill at Ladyship Mills, Halifax.

Jordan Hagan and Jimmy First gave no thought to fancy footwork, probing jabs or gloves raised to protect the head. They just waded in from the first bell to the last, swinging punches like men possessed.

The fact that they came up against two equally willing opponents in Keighley’s Rakib Jilani and Cleckheaton’s Jordan Schofield respectively resulted in two explosive contests which had the 300-plus fans at the atmospheric Old Lane venue on their feet.

Hagan, who apparently rarely throws a punch in anger in training, was on the wrong end of one of five split decisions on the night against the admirable Jilani in the eighth contest while First brought the evening to a rousing climax with a unanimous points win over the durable Schofield.

Mick Rowe, boss of the Halifax club, could do worse than try to arrange re-matches at the next show later this year.

Host club boxers fought out of the red corner in all 13 bouts but only Daniel Langley, Kyle Scully and Alex Hanson were successful before First.

However, the reformed Halifax Star club from just up the road tasted success through Peter Davies while Hebden Bridge pair Joseph Kidder and Luke Keleher maintained their club’s good run.

The fighters got progressively bigger as the evening went on, Bradley Smith losing narrowly to Mohammed Ahmed in the opener after getting caught trying to move inside against the well-drilled Burmantofts youngster.

Luke Warner looked in trouble in the second round against Hunslet’s Jacob Staten but battled on courageously and while beaten, might have shaded the third round.

Langley got Halifax Police’s first win on the board in the third contest, landing some good upper cuts and bloodying the nose of the taller Connor Baines from the Westways club in Scarborough.

Chris Godridge, laid out on the canvas for a worrying length of time at the last show, showed his confidence hadn’t been dented against the smaller, stockier Theerapat Nueto who had travelled down from Barrow. The long-distance raider went home with a narrow win under his belt.

Scully, a dedicated trainer, has picked up his game and he gave a controlled, unruffled display to frustrate Marley Devitt from Middlesbrough.

Reece Ayres was unable to cope with a barrage of punches from Hunslet’s Connor Thrush and the referee moved in quickly to save him from further punishment and the other stoppage of the night quickly followed when Doncaster’s Jimmy Joe Flint was unable to continue against Halifax’s Alex Hanson, who demonstrated nice footwork and landed plenty of solid rights.

A delay while the doctor attended to Flint enabled the fans of Hagan and Jilani to show their support for their men and the fans were not disappointed, the pair going at it hammer and tongs to earn a standing ovation.

Davies was on top from the beginning against Callum Cooper in the first fight after the interval and the Halifax man did well to get through three rounds.

The tall Kidder gave arguably the most accomplished performance of the night, producing some excellent combinations to beat the hosts’ solid Daniel Robinson.

Vinny Atkins looked to have done enough against James Kilvington but the Middlesbrough man got the verdict.

Jack Sellars, just out of the junior division, paid the price for slow starts to the rounds against the hard-working Keleher, before First’s grand finale.

Local professional boxers Liam Walsh, Shuzzy Hussein and Tyrone Nurse presented trophies and Rowe, hit by a few withdrawals among the fighters at the start of the week, was pleased with the success of the event.

RESULTS (Halifax Police BC unless stated): Bradley Smith lost to Mohammed Ahmed (Burmantofts) on majority decision, Luke Warner lost to Jacob Staten (Hunslet) on unanimous decision, Daniel Langley beat Connor Baines (Scarborough) on unanimous decision, Chris Godridge lost to Theerapat Nueto (Barrow) on majority decision, Kyle Scully beat Marley Devitt (Middlesbrough) on unanimous decision, Reece Ayres lost to Connor Thrush (Hunslet) stopped in first round, Alex Hanson beat Jimmy Joe Flint (Doncaster) stopped in second round, Jordan Hagan lost to Jakib Jilani (Keighley) on majority decision, Callum Cooper lost to Peter Davies (Halifax Star) on unanimous decision, Daniel Robinson lost to Joseph Kidder (Hebden Bridge) on unanimous decision, Vinny Atkins lost to James Kilvington (Middlesbrough) on majority decision, Jack Sellars lost to Luke Keleher (Hebden Bridge) on majority decision, Jimmy First beat Jordan Schofield (Cleckheaton) on unanimous decision.