Surtees and co star in latest glowing advertisement for North-east boxing
NORTH-EAST boxing is hardly shy of champions between the 135 to 147lb marks. Newcastle’s lightweight punching sensation Lewis Ritson has just clinched the Lonsdale Belt outright, while at Commonwealth level, Glenn Foot is the ruler at super-lightweight and his Sunderland neighbour, Josh Kelly, the new king at welter.
Another super-lightweight from the region is hoping to join the party after extending his winning run to eight bouts on the eighth ‘Summer Rumble’ show. Darren Surtees returned to the ring at the Stadium of Light, where he convincingly outpointed William
Warburton over six rounds. After a year out, 18 minutes with the crafty veteran was just what the Thornley puncher required. Wily “Warby” had already ruined two winning records in 2018, but there was no way Surtees was going to become a victim.
If the seasoned Atherton man fancies a job, a home favourite can find himself in bother, but when Surtees immediately thrust out his jab and rattled in some spiteful hooks to the body, Warburton kept his distance. Boxing accurately to the orders of coach Dave Binns, Surtees maintained controlled aggression and the Northern Area 140lb belt-holder took the 60-54 verdict from referee Ron Kearney.
The same official handled the rest of the card (all four-rounders) with aplomb, and he awarded a 40-35 victory to another North-east boxer looking to climb the rankings, this time at lightheavyweight.
After three points wins in three months, Newcastle’s gifted Lawrence
Osueke looked like achieving his first stoppage when he felled Latvia’s Edgars
Sniedze with a short left hook in round one. The Baltic battler was up at ‘three’ and proceeded to frustrate the former Team GB man, though Lawrence looked a class act when he got his jab going.
The Hill brothers extended their 100 per cent records in style in two of the best contests, though, to be fair, there were numerous candidates on a superb bill promoted by the Sunderlandnewcastle alliance of Phil Jeffries and Steve Wraith.
Joe Hill launched matters with a third-round stoppage of debutant Matt
Johnson. The Redcar welterweight’s head shots found the mark every time, but Johnson was still very much in it until a brilliant left-right combination put him down. While up at ‘nine’, the Leicester man was unsteady and Mr Kearney counted him out at 1-20.
Tom Hill, the younger of the siblings, had “One Bomb” emblazoned on his black shorts, but he instead threw clusters at another Leicestershire fighter in Wigston’s Michael Williams. Hill was irresistible thanks to his array of combinations to head and body, but “Duck Boy” took everything thrown at him and fought strongly until the final bell, earning a share of the last round. Tom triumphed 40-37.
The away corner, with possibly just two exceptions, came to win and that was the case when Zygimantas Butkevicius fought back strongly against Ferryhill’s
Terry Tyers. The home fighter had the better of the first half, but the Hull-based Lithuanian took the third, and when a right-left smacked into Terry’s head in the fourth an upset appeared possible. However, Tyers pulled out a thumping left hook to the head which stopped Butkevicius in his tracks and followed up with a sustained assault, prompting Mr Kearney to intervene at 1-36.
Two explosions erupted during the penultimate fight – an explosion of violence from new Newcastle crowd favourite, Joe Laws, followed by an explosion of noise when his huge Toon Army celebrated a fourth-round debut triumph. Laws attacked Sylwester Walczak from all angles. Off the Birtley ABC production line, he almost broke the game Pole in half with his body hooks and while a lot of his wild swings to the head missed, it was inevitable some would get through.
They did in the last. A left hook and then a right wobbled Walczak, who went down after two further right hooks to his head. Up at ‘eight’, his punishment was ended at 2-16 by the referee.
Another Newcastle debutant, Terence Wilkinson, also tasted victory when Ritson’s Forest Hall stablemate handed Naheem Chaudhry a birthday beating. Wilkinson, with Lewis’ dad, Davy Ritson, in the corner, went through an impressive repertoire of punches to take a 40-36 shutout against the Blackburn boxer.
THE VERDICT The North East’s new unbeaten wave of talent make ‘Summer Rumble 8’ a show to savour.
STILL UNBEATEN: Super-lightweight prospect Surtees is now 8-0 (5)