IT’S MAGIC MARC

Leach crushes Nor­man to un­der­line im­prove­ment

Boxing News - - Action - Terry Doo­ley

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.

Photo: JANE WARBURTON

PASS­ING THE TEST: Leach [left] de­mol­ishes Nor­man

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