St Gerards ABC travelled to Copnor ABC’s open boxing show at the Moneyfields sports centre in Portsmouth.
They were fielding two young senior boxers -17-year-old Laurence Houari and Xavier Southerton, at light-middleweight and welterweight.
Weighing in at 72kg was Houari, facing Luke Sands of Moneyfields ABC, who was 73kg and had greater experience.
Coach Jon Mills said: “Laurence started well, finding his range early on and firing off stiff left jabs and cracking one-twos forcing his opponent on to the back foot. It wasn’t all one-way traffic, with Sands coming back at him towards the end of the round.
“The second was mostly the same - we told Laurence to keep control from the centre of the ring and use his long straight jab to nullify his opponent’s rythm which he did to good effect.
“The last round was closer as his opponent came gunning for him but Laurence kept poking out those long-range punches he throws so well, catching his opponent at will.
“Both boys tired towards the end but we felt Laurence’s higher work-rate and more accurate punches over the whole three rounds had gave him his first win - but alas, as happens in amateur boxing, a close majority decision went to Luke Sands.
“We shall be seeking a return contest in the very near future.”
Next up was newly turned senior Southerton, who was unfortunate not to box on his club’s recent home show after his opponent pulled out.
In his seventh contest he was weighing 66kg and facing Ethan Cobbold (67kg) from Moneyfields ABC.
Head coach Gareth Ferguson said: “Xavier gets better by the day in his pursuit of pugilistic perfection and lately has been firing on all cylinders in our gym, so we were hoping he would transfer that into competitive boxing.
“He didn’t disappoint us in the slightest, starting very strongly, holding the centre of the ring and catching Ethan with some cracking jabs and overhand rights. He clearly won the first round.
“In the second we told him to start feinting his shots and doubling up with his jabs as Cobbold was weighting to counter-punch effectively but was unable to do so as Xavier cruised into a bigger lead, as we saw it.”
In the third round Southerton needed to keep up the pressure and he did just that, again holding the centre of the ring with a much higher work-rate.
Coach Mills said: “Even though we felt Xavvy was only in second gear all along, he won by a clear points decision in our eyes and many of the crowd commented on that - although he only received a majority decision. He got his reward in another win for himself and the club.