Written by Peter Van Leyden.
An epic night of excellent boxing took place at the Kesteven Centre in North Hykeham promoted by the popular Carl Greaves Promotions who has built a strong reputation in producing small hall classics in recent years. In the main event Newark’s Lightweight favourite Adam Kettleborough would be defending his International Bronze Lightweight Championship against challenger Birmingham’s Ainsley Seivwright. The main event was supported by a solid undercard that was brutally entertaining.
The show’s opening contest over 4×3 minute rounds at Light Middleweight was Fonz Alexander (Newark) who would be making his professional debut against Harginder Gill (Hounslow). Alexander sporting sequinned shorts pushed forward throughout the fight often producing effective work with a determined look on his face while Gill soaked up the pressure, covering up, bobbing and weaving in a vain attempt to avoid punches. By the second round Gills face was reddening as a result of Alexanders punches, however Gill did fire some hooks Back of his own aimed at his enthusiastic opponent and he occasionally stood his ground. Alexander detonated hooks onto Gill in the third round and this was his best work of the fight so far as Gill continued to stand firm. In the last round Alexander continued to apply pressure forcing the tough Gill to defend in what was an exciting end to the fight. Alexander was awarded a clear 40/36 victory.
A heavyweight scrap over 4×3 minute rounds between Melton Mowbreys former prize fighter participant Paul Butlin and Wakefield’s James Oliphant was the next fight. At Seventeen stones, Eight pounds Butlin held a distinct weight advantage over his lighter opponent who came in at fifteen stone six pounds. With an untidy brawling style throughout the fight and attached to his opponent like a barnacle for most of the contest it was apparent that Oliphant wanted to hold his bigger foe in the clinch while often punching with one hand. Butlin, making his first appearance since his second round loss against Olympic Gold Medallist superstar Anthony Joshua made better success when he managed to keep the fight at distance and landed some solid shots that contributed towards Butlin earning a point’s win that welcomed the big man back to winning ways with a score of 39/38.
Young prospect Daryl Baptiste (Lincoln) was having his third fight as a professional over 4×3 minute rounds against Dean Croft (York) and was also back to winning ways at Middleweight. Local favourite Baptiste worked off his jab each round with a confident approach and picked his shots with precision becoming more menacing as the fight progressed. The rugged looking Croft connected with some of his own shots and was patient on retreat however Baptiste was undeterred and well-focused and stook to his game plan of boxing all the way to a convincing points win with a score of 40/36.
Announced as a welterweight contest by the master of ceremonies and over 4×3 minute rounds was two time English title challenger and existing Midlands Lightweight champion Kevin Hooper (Grimsby) versus Kristian Laight (Nuneaton) who would be having his one hundred and eighty third fight. Known as Mr Reliable, the popular Laight is a capable switch hitter and the journeyman displayed a defensive style that was impressive while using the ring and flicking light combinations and a jab in the direction of Cooper that always reminded him he was there. Despite this Cooper had a sizeable fan base in the auditorium and his supporters made plenty of noise chanting “Super Cooper” as there man marched forwards. Laight worked hard but Hooper forced the pace of the contest eventually receiving a point’s victory of 40/36.
Nottingham’s Jamie Williams was having his second pro fight at flyweight against Gary Reeve (Gateshead) who himself likewise was having his second fight. The stylish Williams started off well boxing confidently but the much shorter pocket rocket styled Reeve was looking for the big punches. Late in the first round an accidental clash of heads caused Williams to suffer a cut to the left eyebrow while Reeve had a cut at the left side of his forehead. By the second round Williams had blood flowing from his eye onto his face as Reeve landed shots that penetrated the injury further in a brutal round. In the third, hard shots were on target from Reeve as he ferociously marched forwards after Williams, sensing the finish. A crunching shot had Williams stumbling backwards but he gamely managed to stay upright. Early in the round a doctor’s inspection of the injury to Williams’ eye ended the contest and the fight went to the scorecards with Reeve receiving a 29/28 victory. Later Williams cut required seven stitches.
Local Bantamweight boxer Bobbie Jenkinson (Lincoln) would be trading blows with Spanish import Francisco Javier (Las Palmas). Unbeaten Jenkinson looked like he was in for a comfortable nights work from the way he was boxing against the pony tailed Spaniard and edged the first round that was competitive as the Spanish corner yelled instructions. In the second Jenkinson was caught unexpectedly by a crunching left hook that bounced off his chin dropping him to the canvas, Jenkinson beat the count only to be caught again by a left hook that again sent him tumbling to the canvas. This time Jenkinson was up at three seconds, when the count reached Eight referee Kevin Parker decided he had seen enough and ended the contest in favour of Javier much to the disappointment of Jenkinson as he suffered his first defeat as a professional.
The main event for the International Masters Bronze Lightweight Championship between defending champion Adam Kettleborough (Newark) and challenger Ainsley Seivwright (Birmingham) would be a classic contest that turned into eight rounds of thrilling scintillating action. Box fighter Kettleborough would be defending his title against the talented challenger Seivwright. A large contingent of supporters had travelled from Birmingham to cheer their man on. Kettleborough also enjoyed large support and both sets of supporters contributed towards making a riveting atmosphere as both fighters traded their respective skills against each other.
The first round observed Seivwright boxing well and using the ring to his advantage as the defending champion Kettleborough adopted a tight defence it was Seivwright who marched forwards and the Birmingham boxer circled the ring creatively. The second observed Seivwright on target with some good hooks that reddened the champion’s face, late in the round both fighters traded blows on the ropes as referee Robert Chalmers watched closely. The fight suddenly sprung to life in the third as Kettleborough produced his most effective work so far of the fight that changed the rhythm of the contest as he began to find his range landing good shots with further fighting on the ropes. Fierce fighting took place in the fourth as Kettleborough was warming to the occasion, both sets of supports were making plenty of noise. By the Fifth round both fighters dug deep into the trenches as Seivwright circled the ring with the champion constantly marching forwards. In a gruelling sixth round Seivwright continued to use the ring and worked off his jab however he did appear to be tiring and was forced into a fast pace by his opponent who did appear to finally catch up with his challenger as they both traded away. Kettleborough was looking for the finish and the punch that could end matters as Seivwright defiantly hung on until the end of the round. In the penultimate round Seivwright had a lively start as his forehead was visibly bruising but the local man came into the session as it progressed. The final round observed both boxers fighting each other toe to toe and it seemed it was a case of who wanted it the most while they traded blows against each other practically punching each other to a standstill as the crowd were making lots of noise as the round ended. The final bell must have felt like an orchestra to the ears of both boxers as the fight came to a conclusion. In what was considered a very close fight, a score of 77/76 in favour of the defending champion was announced. Kettleborough has ambitions of going after further titles in his career in the future and in only his third professional contest Seivwright must take credit from this performance which will almost certainly see him be back in the ring again soon.