“It was an absolute classic” - Brighouse boxer First wins fight at Elland Road
First beat Brian Phillips, who had a winning record of nine wins and one defeat prior to the fight at the Pavillion Banqueting suite at Elland Road in Leeds.
And although the Central area lightweight title was not on the line, due to the British Boxing board being unable to sanction a title fight in time, as Justin Newell, who had a record of 13 wins and no losses, pulled out, First displayed a great deal of fortitude to win the fight.
The referee scored the bout 96-95 and awarded the win to First after a gruelling 10-round fight in which both fighters landed a plethora of punches as they went toe-to-toe with both men switch hitting, switching stance, whilst making each other miss and making each other pay.
Described as an absolute thriller, Phillips gained the upper hand initially as First started a little slow. However, First, who grew up in Hipperholme and lives in Brighouse, gathered momentum and started taking over the fight, and kept his composure and discipline to win the bout in front of a deafening crowd.
“The crowd were roaring as the match went on, it was an absolute classic,” said James. “It was to and fro which and it was an excellent, even match up but it was a barnstormer, and absolute classic in which both of us showed a great deal of determination.”
First, who trains at Dicky’s Gym, where Josh Warrington also trained, is 40-years-old and only started boxing when he was 29, turning pro aged 36.
His professional record is ten wins, no losses and three wins by technical knock out.
He hopes to get a fight for the Central area lightweight title in the coming weeks.