CHAMPIONS past and present were in attendance at the Doncaster Dome as Stuart Brookes made his comeback to professional boxing on Friday.
Current three belt bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell was ringside cheering stablemate Brookes on as he made his ring return after the tragic death of his younger brother Scott, also a fighter, in 2008.
Sheffield’s Kell Brook and Doncaster’s former British title holder Jon Jo Irwin were also present as Brookes made a winning return.
In what was a bit of an anti-climax, middleweight Brookes was a bit too eager to please his vociferous support from nearby Mexborough in his points win over Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence.
An untidy affair, Brookes always edged the rounds but Spence made the fight rough and tumble and forced Brookes into a battle which resulted in him being cut on the forehead.
Ring rust was always inevitable according to one half of his training team Dave Hulley.
“This is how the likes of Spence make their money, they make it hard and go the distance,” he said. “With the time he’s had out, Stuart was always going to be a bit rusty but I thought he did okay.”
One boxer wanting to be a future champion is Swinton’s light-middleweight Tommy Coward and he demolished Bognor Regis’ Liam Griffiths.
Coward started aggressively and put his opponent on the canvas with a sharp left hand. And the onslaught continued, back on his feet Griffiths was unable to fend off Coward and another combination saw referee Michael Alexander step in with just 1 minutes 30 seconds gone.
The plan is to now step former England amateur Coward up in class and distance.
Youth conquered experience as Connor ‘Pretty Boy’ Nixon beat Delroy Spencer.
Twenty five years separated the bantamweight pair but hometown boy Nixon, 18, looks quick enough to outspeed most boxers, let alone one who’s old enough to be his father.
He used his very fast hands to catch a retreating Spencer throughout their four rounder to record a shutout win.
A division up, Jamie’s twin brother Gavin battled to a points win over Scotsman Ryan McNicol.
McDonnell looked good when he boxed at range and caught his shorter opponent with constant jabs, but got too close in the final stages and was caught needlessly. Nevertheless he celebrated a 40-36 win.
Fellow local lad Charlie Thompson beat Bheki Moyo at welterweight.