Dinner show packs a knockout punch

Former British and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Andy Straughn was the main attraction at a boxing dinner show in Stevenage. Straughn, a three-time ABA light-heavyweight champ as well, was joined by other guests such as town mayor Simon Speller and

Former British and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Andy Straughn was the main attraction at a boxing dinner show in Stevenage.

Straughn, a three-time ABA light-heavyweight champ as well, was joined by other guests such as town mayor Simon Speller and former Stevenage club chairman Placid Gonzalez at the arts and leisure centre on Friday night.

More than 500 boxing fans witnessed 13 bouts, 10 featuring fighters from the host club.

Club chairman Charlie Theobald, who also acts as master of ceremonies, said: "Everybody seemed to really enjoy the evening. I thought it went well and the boxing was superb."


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The juniors were first up and Jason Draper was named best boxer of the night by Straughn for his majority points win over Margate's Ross Aylat.

Shane McDonnagh had an impressive second half of his bout against Jack Scotchbrook (Ongar) to record another majority verdict on points.

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Sandy's Tom Long then lost on a majority verdict to Jordan Flynn (Berinsfield).

There was a unanimous win on points for home fighter Dan Ovendon against Billy Hampton (Sandy).

An emphatic display by Sonny Smith saw him gain a unanimous win on points against the gallant Dean Jackson (Hornchurch).

There was a surprising margin of victory in the next bout featuring Stevenage's Harry Marshall.

Marshall forced opponent Tom White (Hornchurch) to take a standing count in the third round but still only won on a majority verdict despite appearing to be dominant.

The first senior contest involving a Stevenage boxer saw Danny Grimes lose to Zak Asker (Ipswich) on a unanimous points decision.

Terry Skipper reversed this trend by beating southpaw Rob Mitchell (Eastleigh), also on a unanimous points win.

The only ladies' bout of the night saw Leah Flintham overwhelm Jana Dienburger from Cambridge.

Dienburger took two standing counts in round two before the referee called a halt.

There was then an exhausting contest between Pete Samuels and Billy Crotty (Cheshunt). Crotty took a slightly surprising verdict with a majority points win.

Last up was Barry Greenaway who was against James Price (Cambridge).

Greenaway had to be content with a unanimous points win as Price simply refused to hit the canvas.

This was the first time the arts and leisure centre had staged the club's show since the early 1990s.

And the next one is already planned for early December this year.

Theobald added: "There was a good atmosphere in there and we will be getting a second bar this time!

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