Fighters from Dewsbury’s KBW boxing club are celebrating after a stunning performance in front of a home crowd last Saturday.
The Savile Town gym recorded eight victories from 10 bouts at Dewsbury Town Hall on Saturday night, including impressive wins from Heckmondwike’s Saif Cheema and headliner Ashley Vanzie.
Cheema, fighting at 65kg, entered the ring to a roaring reception and went on to earn a convincing unanimous decision victory over Tootill ABC’s Tom Summerbell.
Cheema started on the front foot, lancing his opponent with a long left jab then unleashing lightning fast combinations to the head and body, dictating the action all the way through.
In a closer second round Summerbell had more success, but the cleaner work came from Cheema, scoring with some solid shots to his opponent’s chin.
Summerbell came out strongly for the final round, closing down the space, but through mastery of fast footwork and timing the Heckmondwike fighter was able to pick off his man with crisp countering right hands to the head, nullifying his work.
After a brave effort from Summerbell the judges returned a unanimous verdict in Cheema’s favour to thunderous applause.
Cheema, who hopes to turn professional, said: “I thought I was a big underdog and I was nervous because of the crowd that came to support me, but I got it done and beat a good fighter.
“I’ve had 22 fights and won 19 but without my trainer Martin Bateson I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
In the headline fight Rio 2016 hopeful Ashley Vanzie took a split decision victory over Jack Cullen at 75kg from Gloves ABC.
In the first 10 seconds of round one, Cullen caught Vanzie in the right eye with a glancing blow, causing the KBW boxer to fight most of the round with impaired vision.
Cullen looked to put pressure on Vanzie but was made to pay with clubbing left and right hooks to body and head.
Despite his clear discomfort, Vanzie had success with a booming overhand right to his opponent’s temple.
Both fighters decided to engage in the second round, Cullen landing with stiff jabs, and the slicker Vanzie scoring with his combinations.
Towards the end of the round both fighters were showing signs of fatigue which became more evident in round three, where an exhausted Vanzie left it all in the ring to earn a deserved split decision victory.
Vanzie, coming off the back of Friday’s win against 81kg Dan Azeez in the British Universities and Colleges Sport championships, said: “I was at 60 per cent and I was very tired, drained and fatigued after Friday’s fight. I trained down and I was giving away 5kg on Friday.
“I couldn’t have got a worse opponent than Jack Cullen with my fatigue - massive respect to him.
“The first shot he threw blinded me and I couldn’t see for the first round. I had to make the skills pay the bills - it’s a show I can be proud of.”
Trainer Martin Bateson said: “A lot of our young lads are unbeaten prospects but they were all matched against quality opponents, some that were expected to beat them.
“Eight out of 10 had to step it up and they came through - that’s what fighting in front of a home crowd can instil. I’m proud of all my fighters.”