LUTON DOES THE DOUBLE: REPORT
As I arrived at the famous York Hall, it was pretty packed out from when the doors opened. I went backstage to see the two in the changing room and it was a very chilled and relaxed vibe with Frankie warming up and Tysie getting her hands wrapped for the bouts they were about to have. My own coach Ciaran Duffy and Head Coach Tony Pill were in good spirits cracking jokes. Everyone was in a great mood and I knew the two were in good hands – it was going to be a winning evening! I left the duo to it and headed back to ringside excited for their fights.
The Queen of Luton herself, 4-1 (0) Tysie Gallagher, was coming up against 5-4-1 (0) Wendellin Cruz, who was a good opponent for Tysie coming off her only defeat to newly crowned WBA World Bantamweight Champion Nina Hughes- in a very close fight.
The first round was very cagey from both with nothing of significance really landing, but with Tysie controlling the pace and centre ring she took the first round with ease. The second was much better, with Tysie producing the shots I was calling for: the jab body, right hand over the top. Cruz was open to it all night long. Gallagher’s jab was also coming to life more and more, which was controlling the fight for her.
I would have liked to have seen Tysie be a lot busier as Wendellin wasn’t offering much, but the young lady from Luton was winning the rounds easily. The third was a great round from Tysie as she opened up the first minute with a great straight right which put her opponent on to the ropes and started to go to work on her woman. Later on she threw a beautiful cheeky left hook as Cruz was coming in and then towards the end of the round Tysie landed another strong right hand to Wendellin Cruz’s face.
As the fight continued, Tysie found home with the right hand and “home sweet home” just happened to be Cruz’s face. Tysie was hurting her woman multiple times but every time she had her on the ropes she seemed to back off and let Cruz recover, which was very strange.
When the final bell rang the Queen had returned to her throne, winning every round 60-54 on the scorecards and then in true style, straight onto the IFL TV channel calling out her rival Nina Hughes. It was great to see Gallagher back in action and back to winning ways. I would have liked to see her jump on Cruz more when she was hurt but overall it was a great night for Tysie. I’m looking forward to Gallagher vs Hughes Part 2 though … watch this space.
Featherweight Frankie Storey, 2-0 (0), was coming up against the very tough Stephen Jackson, 1-27-1 (1). As the bell went, Frankie marched straight to the centre of the ring and opened up the round with a beautiful straight left from the southpaw stance and not long after followed up by a cracking right hook to the body. As Frankie continued to hold centre ring, he pushed Jackson back onto the ropes and let his hands fly, opening up with about four strong, hard shots to Jackson’s body. This ended a strong first round for Frankie.
In the second more of the same followed and Frankie started to find home with a left uppercut to the body which he couldn’t miss with. As the second round went on I turned to Andy Gill - Head Coach at Evolve Elite boxing gym - and said “it’s only a matter of time before Frankie stops him”.
Frankie opened the third with a monstrous left hook to the face of Jackson which put him on to the ropes, followed by a body shot that echoed across the arena and continued to dominate through the round, and the last, till the final bell. Seeing Jackson up close for the first time I have to give it to him he’s one tough cookie who took a lot of monstrous shots. Frankie is very talented and I can see why he has such a big following. The ref scored it 40-37 to Frankie Storey, giving one round even.
Luton Town’s boxing nuts will be very happy with two wins in the bank. No doubt with many more to come, these two heroes are ones to watch.