Wright on target as young Victors put on a show

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THE MK Victors Amateur Boxing Club their last show of the season at Woughton Leisure Centre last weekend, with Connor Wright’s victory the highlight.

Boxing clubs from all over the country were in attendance, including Bletchley ABC. In total there were 18 contests on the day, and all were evenly matched according to the majority of clubs and officer in charge, John Stevenson.

Boxers entered ring side to music, enhancing the atmosphere in a sell out crowd. First to box was Victors’ youngest fighter, Ned O’Reilly. Proud to wear his Marshall’s vest, he showed no nerves when he met a more experienced S. Khan from Essex Boxing Club in Hoddesden, but in the end Ned lost on a very close majority decision.

Another newcomer, Faraz Abid, was up next for Victors and took on another Hoddesden boy in W. Doherty. After a very fast paced contest it was again the Essex lad who came out on top.

Just when it looked like Victors were going to have a bad day, the alarm sounded ‘ginger alert’ – the signature tune to Connor Wright who was up against highly rated L. Manning of Wisbech, who had both age and experience on his side.

The nerves showed – not on Connor, but on his coach and father Tony Wright who watched from his corner. The first round was dominated by Wright as he landed clean hand combination punches, looking like he might stop Manning after a succession of powerful backhand shots.

But Manning showed why he was so highly rated with a comeback of his own in the second round. Wright still went on to win the round but knew he had real a battle ahead to win overall.

And Wright showed great skill in the third round as he went to work on Manning, forcing him onto the backfoot, eventually giving the city fighter a clear unanimous decision.

Next up was another newcomer, Hamza Mehmood, boxing S. Phillips from Hoddesden. Phillips had more experience, but that didn’t stop Hamza’s determination to turn the tables on the Hoddesden Boxing Club who had just beaten his cousin Faraz. Hamza started fast and maintained the pace throughout all three rounds to take a clear unanimous win.

Home Counties champion, Terry O’Reilly, was next into the ring to face C. Brockley from Earls Shilton ABC. Brockley is one of the most highly rated boxers in the UK for his age and weight, so it proved a big test of exactly how far O’Reilly as come in recent months.

From the first round Terry started fast, putting together excellent four punch combinations, and many thought that he had done enough to just take that round.

However, in the second Brockley came back with counter punching combinations, only just beating Terry to the punch. The third round was very close as well, but in the end Terry lost out courtesy of a controversial majority verdict.

Jordan Turner from Leighton Buzzard was boxing for Victors, under the watchful eye of his coach Rick Wood. Turner boxed J. Matlock from Windrush, and being a young fitness fanatic, he easily wore Matlock down, cutting the ring down in size and making it his fight from the off to take a clear unanimous win.

Ben Cspedes was up next, boxing Banbury boxer M. Kirkwood – a tall and not particularly skilful boxer with long swinging arms. With more luck than judgement, Kirkwood caught Ben in the first round with a looping right hand and he could not get his composure back. Coach Tony threw in the towel in the second round to stop the Victors boxer from taking any unnecessary punishment.

Last up, and under the guidance of coach Chris Wright – brother of Tony – was Johnny O’Reilly, making it a trio of brothers boxing in the show. The 17-year-old faced 24-year-old M. Hyde from Luton Academy ABC.

From the beginning Hyde tried to intimidate the younger boxer, but O’Reilly kept his hands high and showed that he wasn’t fazed. As the late Henry Cooper once said: “A good boxer will always beat a good fighter,” and that’s exactly what happened as O’Reilly won by a unanimous decision.