NINA CROWNED CHAMPION
Commonwealth title glory for Bradley in only her sixth outing
++++ ATMOSPHERE JUST a couple of months after Hyde’s Stacey Copeland became the first British female winner of a Commonwealth title, Newark’s Nina Bradley mirrored her achievement by securing a wide and unanimous points success over Tanzania’s unbeaten Feriche Mashauri at King Power Stadium to make the vacant super-lightweight title her own.
Judges John Keane, Shaun Messer and Terry O’connor handed in respective cards of 97-93, 99-92 and 99-92 at the finish.
Mashauri, 26, having made her ringwalk dressed in a gown the colours of her nation’s flag to the strains of an anthem entitled It’s Time For Africa, kept things fairly close in the early,
I credited her with a share of the opener and gave her the third despite Nina rallying late in that session. But from that point onwards the balance swung further and further in the Newark lady’s favour. She slammed home an eyecatching right cross late in the sixth and thereafter never looked back, her busier, more precise work leaving the outclassed African with a sizeable swelling on her forehead late on.
Howard Foster was the man in the middle. Earl Shilton’s unbeaten Kyle Haywood had been set to go in against Hull’s 24-hour sub Zygimantas
Butkevicius over eight rounds in the show closer but instead the pair went in a bout reduced to six. Unsurprisingly, Kyle took the 60-54 verdict of referee Messer but he was afforded no easy run by the Lithuanian native, who despite having a point docked for persistent holding in the fifth proved a stubborn opponent. Heavyweight first-timer Ellis “The
Machine” Machin, from Huthwaite near Mansfield, wasted precious little time in getting off the mark in his scheduled four against Gateshead’s Fijian-born Jone Volau who, boasting a winning record as well as looking in decent nick, was having his first outing in 14 months. After seemingly just having done enough to pinch a close opener the Nottinghamshire man was the recipient of a meaty left early in the second. But any Volau advantage proved shortlived and when he was clattered in a neutral corner by a pair of rights and a followup left, referee Mr Messer was quick to intervene with 56 seconds of the frame remaining.
Debutant number two, in another bout overseen by Dudley’s Messer, was featherweight Brad Daws from Carlton in Nottingham who despite handing Barcelona-based Nicaraguan Elvis
Guillen an absolute beating over four one-sided rounds was unable to prevent the amazingly resilient visitor reaching the finish. No surprise that this one finished 40-36, an outcome appreciated by Brad’s noisy supporters. Derby’s Sajid Abid had encountered little by way of trouble in the fourround curtain-raiser against Sheffield’s experienced welter Qasim Hussain. The contest was scored 40-36 from outside the ring by Mr Messer and controlled inside by Solihull trialist Chris Dean, who was officiating for the very first time – and the same refereeing/scoring combination was in operation for the four between onefight Newark novice Olly
Marple and Latvia’s Raimonds Sniedze, who had come in at a relatively late stage.
The outcome was the same too, with Marple having his arm raised at the finish of an oft-scrappy affair during which the visitor picked up a bloody nose. Trialist Dean had a busy night, presiding over three further fours, two of which ran their allotted distance and resulted in victories for home boxers. Leicester’s wildly popular Callum
Blockley had things all his own way en route to a 40-36 shut-out win over Warminster’s bearded Paul Cummings, whilst things proved a little closer and a good deal feistier in the contest between another local Connor Ireson and Warwick’s Myles Vale, who boasted quite a weight advantage.
Mr Messer scored 40-37, maybe awarding Myles a share of an exciting third session which saw the advantage swing first one way and then the other, though there was precious little daylight in the closing session either.
The one which didn’t go the distance saw Leicestershire’s Kieran Pitman return to winning ways when Westbury’s luckless
Kevin Williams was counted out after 2-26 of the second round, having been sent to the deck for the third time in quick succession by a right uppercut.
BREAKTHROUGH: Bradley celebrates her Commonwealth title victory