Before the world had its eyes set on Madison Square Gardens in New York this Saturday night, I was captured in a complete parallel down in Bracknell Leisure Centre. Many, if not all of the fighters on this Neilson Boxing show will dream about being at the Gardens one day, and who’s to say they can’t?

I’m still buzzing from being so close to the action last night, so close that I could see the piercing stare that Andre Grant possessed, slight glints in his pupils from the beaming bright lights on the four corners of the ring. I even have a speck of blood on my notepad as a nice souvenir from Jordan Flynn’s brutal, bloody and relentless stoppage win over Constantin Radoi- which has to be my fight of the night.

Flynn was impressive from the get-go as the lightweight’s speed backed Radoi into the corner in the very first round and unleashed spiteful punishment from a quick combination. Concern arose in the second as Flynn sustained a cut on his right cheek as a result of Radoi’s desperation and continued to lead with his head, dangerously. This cut awoke a bigger monster that was already in the ring and a relentless shot selection left no other option than the referee to stop the contest at 2:48 of the third round.

Kicking off the night was light-heavyweight Bryce Goodridge and it set the standard to follow. The noise took me by surprise in the hall, his Basingstoke supporters were immense. The tone was set in terms of the atmosphere and Goodridge began cruising, but he had to keep his focus amidst his opponent pounding on the chest, taunting Goodridge throughout. A 60-54 win sees Goodridge move on to 6-0-0 deservedly.

Mr Brightside echoed around the hall as Connor Gray from Wiltshire entered the ring, for what would be a messy encounter at times against Liam Richards. Gray increased his tempo through the rounds with huge cheers when he landed clean. Connor ‘Brightside’ Gray moves to 4-0-0 after a shut-out 60-54 win over a durable Richards.

Luke Pearson had an animated corner next to me on my right shoulder, often reminding Pearson to keep his chin down in his bout against Viktor Vezhlivtsev- and to look for the uppercut. Pearson followed instructions beautifully and found success with that very shot, answered by Vezhlivtsev with another taunt, stretching his arms out as wide as possible, like a bird fully stretched at width. Pearson was successful in a 40-36 win.

Light heavyweight Chris Davies, ahead of his Southern Area Title fight, faced the most currently active journeyman in the United Kingdom, I was told at ringside, Seamus Devlin. As the two big, powerful men traded off I noticed under the lights just above the fighters heads the misty smoke accumulated from the heat. Davies went on to win 59-55 and all eyes are on his big night next month.

Nathan Howells took on Jamie ‘Devil Child’ Quinn who has only been stopped 5 times in his 128 fights and it was an entertaining contest at super featherweight. Howells’ signature move was to keep firmly planting single body shots into Quinn’s liver which echoed thuds and winces heard prominently. Despite this Quinn posed a durable threat and beckoned Howells to come to him. Howells’ support grew frustrated with Quinn’s extreme taunting towards them but their man came away with a 60-54 points win.

During the 15 minute interval, a raffle took place with some memorabilia from the likes of Roy Jones Jr, Tony Bellew and Frank Bruno. A few laughs were had when a couple of the young kids behind me shouted ‘’I’ll give ya twenty quid’’ and the amused announcer replied with, ‘’you haven’t got enough pocket money’’ and swiftly moved on- much to their disappointment.

Farnborough man Andre Grant faced an awkward opponent in Jake Pollard, who has probably either the best, or worst, haircut in the sport of boxing. His long mullet, shaved on the side, looked extremely irritable during the fight for both men as it got in the way a lot. Grant persevered frustratingly and wore down Pollard with a shutout 60-54 win.

Retuning back to action saw Fynnlie Judd and Berman Sanchez erupt into a war. Sanchez had the WBC logo sewn on his shorts, reminiscent of when he fought for a youth title back in 2012, and was not afraid to trade at all. He stood up to continuous heavy shots and I was just in awe of his toughness. Judd came through on top after both men left it all on the line, winning 40-37. True warriors.

The loudest cheer of the night came for decorated amateur Charles ‘Boom Boom’ Frankham, and those cheers transcended into his superior ring presence against Rustem Fatkhullin. The crowd bellowed for Frankham to hunt down his opponent but it was tricky to do so. Frankham appeared frustrated at the end, most likely wanting more out of this four rounder, but he won on points.

Deep into the night was Johnny Phillips, in the final bout,  against Chris Narvaez. Phillips was here with intent to perform and looked hyper to an extent, he had to be told to settle down by his trainer just beside me. As sweat sprinkled across the canvas, Phillips began to nick the rounds with the more accurate shots on the night against the fairly evasive Narvaez. Johnny ‘The Matador’ Phillips returned to winning ways with a points win 40-36 bringing a night of action to its closure. 


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