On Saturday 28 October, to a full house of 150 people at Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks Amateur Boxing Club (SABC) held its 3rd annual dinner show for an amazing night of entertainment. Nine bouts were booked for the show from their growing stable of boxers, more were available, but time was not on their side.
First up was newcomer young 14-year old Jack Binns, who was making his first entry into boxing from a previous martial arts background. He had an amazing debut with good swift combinations and a willingness to trade punches, he set the tone for the evening winning by a unanimous decision against Joe Haynes from Danson.
Next up was another debut performer, Tilakhan Shawali, another 14-year old who has been with the Sevenoaks club for nearly a year and an amazing talent. He also won by a unanimous decision beating Isaac Okoh from Gateway Boxing Club with good hard solid shots in single and combination punches.
Joe McGrath followed Tilakhan and Joe is another talented boxer who has been with SABC for a year or so but was making his debut at 16. Joe was up against another Gateway boxer Tom Wilson and although boxing well and getting more punches in than he took, he lost on a surprising split decision.
Ryan Burleigh was the first senior up next and with two losses against his card, it could have been a watershed moment… and it was! Ryan boxed and showed the crowd exactly what he can do and what his trainers knew he was capable of. Ryan totally out-boxed a formidable opponent from Dynamo Boxing Club Rahim Manji, moving and changing angles and unleashing fast hands to win by a unanimous decision. He was later voted boxer of the evening and pictured being handed his trophy by amateur legend Terry Waller, a veteran of over 300 winning fights.
Matt Greig stepped up next and another boxer on his debut. According to his trainers, Matt has been training his body off and was looking in supreme shape, he was so charged at the start that the referee had to tell him to go back in his corner before the bell and when he had his gloves inspected, he tapped the referee’s hands away to say I’m good let’s go.
Matt was up against a good opponent in Karl Smith from Canterbury Boxing Club and slowly worked his way into the rounds, composing himself to throw much better combinations and taking his fitness into the final round, he pushed hard for the win but failed on a split decision. SABC then had a break to allow the judges a rest and for the club to thank their sponsors for the night, such as Newlands Joinery Limited, who kindly donated the boxers tracksuits and kits.
After the break Michael Timon was up against a slightly more experienced Sam Mason from White Hart Lane Gym. Michael had come back into boxing and was on his second senior bout, winning his first last month, so wanted to keep the momentum going. Michael is an elusive boxer with great feet and balance, he boxed beautifully finding gaps and moving away. Michael had his hand raised winning a split decision to the roar of the crowd.
Wes Chambers was the penultimate boxer up and another great prospect in the heavyweight section, matched against Jack Froude from Westhill Boxing Club. Wes took the bout early, as he appeared desperate to get in and although he brought blood to his opponents face with lovely straight jabs, he tired towards the end and agonisingly lost on another split decision. This was put down to fitness and a bit of ring craft. His trainers confirmed that “It will come though”.
Lastly, SABC had Luke Geer signing off the evening. Luke has had eight bouts and is the club’s most experienced boxer on the night with a 50/50 record. Luke was up against a much taller opponent in Reed De Rouen from Canterbury Boxing Club who likewise had a good record, but Luke boxed out of his skin, getting in to his opponent and not allowing him to get in a rhythm or find his range.
Luke caught him numerous times with combinations and brought the night to a great climax winning by another unanimous decision. It was a fantastic night of boxing and only Josh Turner, the Sevenoaks Lion, felt hard done by as his opponent pulled out in the week before and he couldn’t get an opponent in such short notice.
The trainers on the night were Andrew Knight, Paul Lynch and Torbin Newlands, who all worked so hard to get the boxers focused, calm and ready. Paul Lynch said of the boxers: “They were all a credit to the sport and the Sevenoaks club, but mostly to themselves”.