IT’S MAGIC MARC
Leach crushes Norman to underline improvement
PROMOTER Steve Wood had to shuffle the deck to accommodate debutant Muhammad Ali, who has Type One diabetes and has waged a near threeyear fight for his BBBOC licence. He passed a stringent pre-fight once-over by the doctor so the main event, an English bantamweight title eliminator between Salfordian Marc Leach and Shepshed’s
Louis Norman, was bumped forward. Leach was tipped for world titles by Oliver Harrison when still only an amateur - only to lose his pro debut to Bobby Jenkinson in 2014. He has regrouped since then and was muchimproved in his biggest test to date.
Leach switched to southpaw throughout the first to take advantage of the fact his opponent had been stopped by a left to the stomach from portsider Thomas Essomba in March. This paid off in round two, when a straight left to the head dropped Norman.
Despite clambering to his feet, the writing was on the wall for “2Sweet”. Rights and lefts from the southpaw stance brought about a second and then third knockdown, prompting referee John Latham to end the contest at 1-40 of the second.
Leach is now working with Jamie Moore. The former fighter told BN that he’s told Marc to put in maximum effort in the gym and that his hard work is paying dividends.
Wigan’s James Moorecroft shared a round on Latham’s card against determined Lithuanian Arvydas Trizno, who had a real go in rounds two and three only to lose 60-55. It was a similar story for Failsworth’s
Danny Wright against Zoltan Szabo, who knocked out Stephen Ormond in five in 2016.
The Hungarian visitor’s gumshield was sent flying by right hands on three occasions yet he tried to have a go throughout and was handed a share of a round, this time by referee Darren Sarginson, before losing 60-55.
Beswick-based Kane Gardner boxed behind his jab in the first against the usually durable Welshman Paul Ducie before hammering home body shots in the second.
It was more of the same in the third, forcing Latham to jump in at 1-04 after waiting to see if Ducie could cover up while under pressure.
Wood had to dip into his contact book to match Moston’s Lyndon Arthur
after the Board rejected initial opponent Saidou Sall, who lost by decision to Joshua Buatsi last year.
Wood managed to secure the services of fellow Mancunian Adam Williams,
although the word “services” should be used in the loosest possible sense as he offered zero before being cut and stopped at 2-17 of round one. Kieran Farrell threw in the towel after his man went down from a right hand to the head, so Sarginson waved it off at 2-17 of the round.
Adam Ridge headed back to St Helens with a win tucked under his belt after decisioning Telford’s Dean Jones.
Jones was stunned late in the first but unlike Ducie managed to cover up and see the round out. Indeed, Latham told BN that he gave Jones the final round due to his spirited effort and drive before turning in a 39-37 card in Ridge’s favour.
Wiganer Andrew Fleming had to endure a tough fourth and final round in which Killamarsh’s Lee Connelly
bloodied the prospect’s nose. They had traded body shots in the previous round and Connelly’s persistence presented Fleming with something to think about en route to a 40-37 win on Sarginson’s card.
The aforementioned Muhammad Ali has attracted plenty of attention and he enjoyed a trouble free debut against Lithuania’s Andrej Cepur. Third man Sarginson has very little to do as Ali produced a solid first three rounds before the pace dipped in the fourth.
A score of 40-36 sent Ali and his impressive contingent of fans home happy, and the Boltonian stuck around to conduct a few video interviews before mingling with the crowd.
Blackpool’s Jamie Mitchell had a closer call than expected against Emmanuel Moussinga. Latham handed in a 39-38 card in his favour after a bitty fight against the Cameroon-born, Stourbridge-based journeyman. In the end, though, Jamie was worthy of the win.
Like Ali, Bradley Rea also enjoyed a winning debut. Stretford’s “Sting” Rae outpointed Islington’s Jordan Grannum
by a score of 40-36 on Mr Sarginson’s card.
THE VERDICT Leach enjoys a far easier night than expected, while Ali makes a winning start on a solid season-opener from VIP Promotions.
PASSING THE TEST: Leach [left] demolishes Norman