Third time lucky as Vinny’s hard work earns county title

VINNY Atkins made it third time lucky when he became Halifax Police Boxing Club’s fifth Yorkshire ABC champion on Saturday night.

Atkins, narrowly beaten in two previous attempts when senior coach Mick Rowe thought he had done enough, beat Tom McCassey in the 75kg category at Meanwood Working Men’s Club in Leeds.

McCassey boxes out of Unity ABC of Sheffield, the amateur side of Brenden Ingles’gym. McCassey had a great deal more experience than Atkins, went into the fight on the back of a win a few days earlier against Ben Davis, and was also a southpaw.

However, Atkins’ training in the run up to the fight had been faultless as he demonstrated after being caught by McCassey’s left hand early on.

Things changed in the second round when Atkins settled and found his range.

McCassey found himself on the back foot in the third and the Halifax boxer dominated until the final bell.

Rowe said: “It was a great performance and a relief to see Vinny win and become a Yorkshire ABA champion.”

Atkins joins Richard Bitner, Scott Gladwin, Jack Sellers and Danielle Taylor in the club’s hall of fame.

Atkins’ outing was completing a busy weekend for the club, who also had boxers competing in Hull on Friday night.

The Halifax contingent travelled to Kingston’s ABC show with four potential bouts - Callum Cooper a senior at 60 kilos, Chris Godridge a 15-year-old at 65 kilos. Arron Greenwood a 12-year-old at 46 kilos and Luke Warner at 40 kilos.

The host club had planned a long night with a possible 18 bouts. However, as sometimes happens, you can lose a few at the weigh-ins and Warner from Siddal was unlucky when his opponent was too heavy.

The first Halifax boxer to climb into the ring was Greenwood against talented Hull City boxer Kia Gibson. Greenwood out-boxed Gibson in the first round but lost the second and third when the local boxer came on strong.

Godridge had a tough match against Kingston’s Tadas Pukas, who had more experience and it showed at times.

They went toe-to-toe with Tadas throwing great combinations but this only made Godridge dig deeper and he won a majority decision to the delight of Halifax coach Johnny Maude, his corner man.

Cooper had to wait until the 15th fight of the night and it proved to be one of the hardest against experienced south paw Mungaru.

Cooper fought valiantly in front of a hostile crowd only to lose on points to a hasty decision from the referee.

Another fighter from Halifax in action on the same bill was Mitchell Lisle, who now represents Eastburn ABC at Keighley.

The 17-year-old Lisle made it 126 wins from 26 fights when he gained a majority decision over Matthew Atkinson of Scarborough ABC in a contest made at 63kg.