Moree’s Danny Cheetham did not disappoint when he said boxing was set to return to Moree, after hosting a successful fight night.
Boxing enthusiasts from near and far packed out the services club auditorium on Saturday evening to watch the action-packed event.
The event Cheetham literally called ‘Boxing is Back in the Big M’ saw 24 fighters enter the ring from Moree, Armidale, Nyngan, Bathurst, Gunnedah, Kingscliff and Coffs Harbour.
Moree Boxing Academy’s Cody Moore took on Inverell’s Josh Desborough in the main, and final, event of the evening.
In the red corner, with coach Cheetham beside him, Moore weathered the storm that was Desborough to win the north west welterweight title by a unanimous points decision.
“It was a fiercely competitive fight. Josh was very good boxer and we knew that Cody needed to step up and overpower Josh which I thought Cody did from the opening bell,” Cheetham said.
Other local fighters Kupah Williams and Zac Crouch also put on a show for the crowd during their three-round exhibition bouts.
Williams, in the blue corner, took on Bathurst’s Cooper Hodgson while Crouch, also representing blue, was up against Will Richards of Nyngan.
“They were both good exhibition bouts. Kupah was out first and I thought he won the bout by using his long arms and reach to his advantage. The bout created momentum in the dressing room.
“Zac then dominated his exhibition opponent really hooking in during the final round, even knocked his opponent down. Zac’s job was to use head movement and get in close which he did perfectly absolutely dominating his much taller, heavier opponent.”
Bout six saw local boy Jack Ross take on Armidale’s Liam Macintyre with both boxers making their first debut.
The tough bout tested both boys’ fitness and mental strength as they were both visibly exhausted by the start of round three.
What both boxers lacked in experience, they made up for in sheer energy and will to win. It may have been the home-crowd support that lead to Ross being awarded the split decision win.
“It was a tough, hard-fought contest and it went right down to the wire. Later in the evening the bout was awarded best fight of the night so both boys should be very proud of themselves,” he said.
The draw-card of the evening was a celebrity exhibition during bout nine when Moree Boars captain and hooker Stanley Swan and former champion jockey Jimmy Bryans went head to head.
Both men, dubbed as pillars of the community, used their profiles to promote the night and help raise money for the boxing academy.
“We thank them for that. Both conducted themselves as absolute gentlemen and put on an excellent exhibition.
PHOTO GALLERY TO COME.
“Jimmy is staying on to help me coach some of the young guys, where as Stan is actually going to have a few bouts through the off season.
“I think on Saturday night we saw a real gentleman in Stan but we’ve seen in the gym he is a very talented, aggressive boxer and when we get him in a proper bout he’ll be able to show his real skill.”
With the full support of his beautiful family, Swan is set to make a proper boxing debut in Bathurst on December 15. In possibly the most controversial fight of the evening Clayton Chatfield of Bathurst was awarded a split decision win against Moree’s Connor Williams.
Cheetham said Williams took a lot away from the evening, including match fitness.
“Connor conducted himself like a real sportsman and accepted the decision from the judges better than most in the auditorium.
“I’ve been in the game for over 50 years and although Connor’s opponent threw a lot more punches, they weren’t actual scoring punches where as Connor scored the cleanest landing shots, in my opinion,” Cheetham said.
Williams was later dubbed best Moree fighter of the night. Cheetham thanked the community for supporting the event along with all volunteers and helpers involved.
“It’s great to see competitive boxing back in Moree and it’ll only get bigger and better from here.”
Other fights on the night included bout one between Dean Waters of Armidale and Nyngan’s James Fisk. In the red corner, Fisk was awarded the win.
Inverell’s Troy Hill was defeated by Gunnedah’s Sony Griffith in bout three and in bout five Inverell’s Seth Burgess won over Kingscliff boy Jarrod James.
Sonny Knight of Nyngan won against Grady Spokes of Coffs Harbour in bout seven and Nathan Cruise of Inverell defeated Armidale’s Roger Scott in bout eight. In bout 10 Jacob Smith of Nyngan won against Inverell’s Sam Swayne.
- See Thursday’s edition to read how Danny Cheetham saved a man’s life in 2013 and was honoured for it on Saturday evening.