Fight fans from the north east of England are in for a treat on Saturday night as promoter Phil Jeffries puts on another good looking show at Houghton le Spring’s Rainton Meadows Arena, headed by the English lightweight title fight between local pair Paul Truscott and Kirk Goodings. The bill features a nice blend of local derbies, unbeaten match-ups and run outs for some of the region’s top talent.
The headline bout is a real ‘pick em’ fight with both men looking to make a statement. Truscott, a former commonwealth champion, is determined to realise his undoubted potential in the paid ranks. The Middlesbrough man has long been admired for his slick skills, although his punching power at the higher level has seemed to let him down at times.
Goodings is very much on the way up and will see this as a chance to take the scalp of a known name and the opportunity to win his first title. The Sunderland fighter is looking at this fight as a bridge towards bigger titles but he will not be overlooking Truscott and he has expressed his respect for his more experienced foe, although he is still confident that he will have too much on the night.
The fans will no doubt be split and both boxers bring in good numbers to their fights so the atmosphere is sure to be electric. As is so often the case, timing could prove crucial in this one. Goodings has one defeat on his record, when he came in at 4 days notice to lose a narrow points decision to Merseyside’s well rated Steve Williams late last year. That performance showed how good Goodings could be and he may have too much on the night but Truscott has a lot more experience, particularly at title level.
The fight may come a little too soon for Goodings but it would not be a surprise to see his arm raised at the end of 10 action packed rounds. Whatever the outcome, both men deserve great respect for being prepared to take each other on and give the local fans a derby to savour.
Also on the show is another match-up between local fighters as Horden’s Anthony Hardy takes on Newcastle’s Chris Bennett at welterweight. Both men are unbeaten with one win each to their name and as well as local bragging rights, they will also be all out to retain the ‘0’ in their loss column and it’s sure to be another one for the fans to get involved in.
There is another battle between unbeaten fighters as Easington’s Paul Archer (7-0) takes on Welsh hotshot Tony Dixon (2-0) at welterweight. Archer has been frustrated with his career so far with longer gaps between fights than he would like but he is looking to send out a message this time around as he takes on a man who will no doubt be coming to win.
Archer’s previous opponents have often used survival tactics and Archer is looking forward to exploiting the openings that will come his way after a career best performance last time out against Brighton’s ultra game Kevin McCauley. Dixon will have ideas of his own and although defeat would by no means be the end for either man, they will both be giving it everything. From a fan’s perspective, it’s great to see young unbeaten fighters willing to take each other on and both men deserve all the credit they receive.
At heavyweight, unbeaten Yorkshireman Dave Allen (3-0) takes on Hungarian Oliver Nagy (2-1) in a fight that is tipped to end early. There’s nothing like the excitement of heavyweights going toe to toe, although the big men can be frustrating when too much grappling and holding can become a problem at the weight. Both men will be coming with ambition so hopefully we will get the kind of action that the fight promises and Allen will be looking to get his 3rd KO in 4 fights, although Nagy will have his own ideas, of course.
Also on the bill is Sunderland’s Jonson McClumpha as he takes on Sheffield’s Dean Walker at middleweight. McClumpha was in a terrific tussle with Newcastle’s Andrew Buchanan earlier this year which the referee was unable to separate. Still unbeaten, McClumpha will be looking to keep busy and will expect to get past Walker without too much trouble. There is talk of a rematch with Buchanan further down the line and hopefully that will happen with a local belt at stake for both men.
Completing the line up, Edinburgh’s John McCallum (4-0) takes on Lancashire’s tough journeyman William Warburton and Hartlepool’s Mike Hatfield (1-0) squares up against Maidenhead’s Jack Heath.
It promises to be another excellent night of boxing ahead and the fans should be in for some top action. At a time when many are calling this a great time for British boxing, with more talent coming through than possibly at any other time, the same can be said for the north east of England. With many fans citing their disappointment at some of the one sided contests aired on TV in recent times, Jeffries is pulling in the crowds by insisting on 50/50 fights on his shows. Here’s looking forward to another cracker.
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