Conroy and Ramabeletsa triumph at Preston’s Guild Hall

Chris Glover 21/02/2016

Ringside report from Preston Guild Hall

The evening began with Nottingham Middleweight Curtis Valentine (6-3, 5KOs) taking on debutante Yailton Neves (0-1).Neves looked slick and confident in the opening minute, countering Valentine’s aggression. Valentine’s aggression began to take its tole however as he started walking down his Manchester based opponent. Towards the end of round one Neves was wobbled from a heavy right hand, giving the big punching Nottingham man the opportunity to up the pace of the fight, which resulted in Neves taking a heavy knockdown. The referee in charge judged that Manchester’s Neves was in no position to continue giving Curtis Valentine a Round 1 TKO win as he moves to 6-3, 5KOs.

Liverpool Welterweight Nathan Brough (13-1, 2KOs) returned to the ring for the first time since December 2014 when he captured the Central Area Super Lightweight crown against former Northern Irish Champion James Gorman (8-13-1, 3KOs). Gorman came into the contest full of ambition and intended to pull off an upset against the Scouser. Brough started well, boxing smartly and working everything off the jab, adding his right hand effectively at the correct time. This put Gorman onto the back foot early as he felt Brough’s power. Brough began to let his combinations flow during the mid rounds which hurt Gorman; however a lot of his work was smothered by the somewhat defensive minded Irishman. The Belfast man had some success midway through round three but Brough remained in control and well composed throughout the contest and sailed to a 40-36 victory. Brough moves to 13-1, 2KOs and will now be looking to make up for lost time in his career by adding more belts to his trophy case in the coming 12 months. James Gorman drops to 8-13-1, 3KOs.

Manchester’s Chris Conwell (8-1, 1KO) took on Sunderland’s Jordan Ellison (3-2) at Light Welterweight, in what turned out to be a contender for fight of the night. The contest started at a fast pace with both fighters looking to make a statement early on. Ellison made a bigger statement as he unloaded a barrage of punches on Conwell at the end of round one. Conwell covered up and manged to weather the early storm. Both fighters proceeded to trade for the next three rounds with neither taking a backward step throughout the contest. Unfortunately for the Manchester man it was Ellison who was landing the heavier and more effective shots throughout. The final round saw both fighters go toe to toe and they both completed an excellent contest. The referee in charge scored the contest 40-36 in favour of Sunderland’s Jordan Ellison who moves to 3-2. Conwell dropped to 8-1, 1KO and will look to rebuild under trainer and former Lightweight star John Murray.

The first title contest of the evening came as Preston based South African Micheal Ramabeletsa (14-15, 5KOs) and British based Georgian Milhail Soloninkini (6-16-1, 2KOs) contested the vacant British Challenge Super Bantamweight crown over 8 rounds. Ramabeletsa started the contest well, using his jab efficiently and gained control of the ring from the outset. The pace was upped in round two however Ramabeletsa’s ability to avoid shots as well as his accurate, sharp punches put his Georgian opponent onto the back foot. The theme of the fight stayed the same throughout, with the South African controlling the range precisely, making sure he was able to evade any counter punches. Ramabeletsa’s accurate punches persisted in the mid rounds, accompanying his sharp defense leaving Soloninkini with no chance of ever building any momentum. The Johnney Roye trained man picked the pace up going into the latter stages and possibly pushed for the stoppage against a tough man in Soloninkini. The Georgian attempted to launch a late surge however got back better than he give. Ramabeletsa produced a punch perfect display throughout and the referee scored the contest 80-72 in favour of the Preston based South African Michael Ramabeletsa. It’s safe to say the Preston’s Ramabeletsa has had a topsy turvy career but since his link up with Johnney Roye he has began rebuilding to fulfill in undoubted potential. This has been seen in his last two contests under Roye and MGM. Ramabeletsa, now 14-15, 5KOs, will look to kick on from picking up the British Challenge title and will look to challenge for an international title of form in 2016. The brave Georgian Milhail Soloninkini drops to 5-16-1, 2KOs.

Barry Lightweight Jason Silliet (3-0, 1KO) squared off against Sheffield’s Ryan Hanson (1-8-1 1KO) over four rounds. Like the last contest, this one started with a fast pace with no backward steps taken from each fighter until Hason caught his Welsh adversary with a well timed counter shot. Silliet recovered well from the knockdown and finished the opening round well. The developing war continued through the mid rounds with both fighters looking to close the show early. They were both loading up with big shots however it appeared Silliet was landing the more effective blows throughout. The pace remained high going into the latter stages in a fight that was worth your ticket money alone. Both fighters showed respect for each other at the final bell. The referee awarded the contest 38-37 in favour of Barry’s Silliet as he recovered from an early scare to finish the fight well. Hanson drops to 1-8-1, 1KO.
Jason vs ryan hanson

Leigh Welterweight Ashley Peyton (8-0) faced off against the tried and tested Jason Nesbitt over six rounds (10-190-4). Peyton started well against the durable Nesbitt, looking relaxed boxing on both the front and back foot in the opening stages. Peyton’s jab was good throughout the contest, keeping his experienced opponent at range and out jabbing him throughout. The Leigh man began to open up more in the mid rounds, throwing three and four punch combinations which stopped Birmingham’s Nesbitt in his tracks. That theme continued into the latter stages as Nesbitt never really got into the fight whereas Peyton displayed quality and effective punching throughout. The referee scored the contest 60-54 in favour of Leigh’s Peyton who looked classy throughout the contest. The Lancashire man will now look for titles this year and seems to be flourishing under trainer Johnney Roye at the MGM Manchester base.

Matthew Hatton trained Adam Hague (6-0, 1KO) faced off against Croatian Silvije Kebet (1-5) over four rounds. Hague gained control of the ring from the outset, picking his shots well, putting his Croatian opponent on to the back foot from the early stages. Kebet from then on was defensive minded throughout as it was visible he could feel Hague had power in his punches. The mid rounds produced more of the same with the Glossop man applying controlled but aggressive pressure, showing a good variety of punches throughout. Hague showed excellent ring generalship, in what was a very mature performance for the 22 year old. The correct application of controlled aggression, good ringcraft and shot variety forced Kebet to remain in a defensive shape for the vast duration the contest. It could be argued that the impressive Hague was unlucky to not get the stoppage. The referee awarded the contest 40-36 in favour of Adam ‘Hitman’ Hague who now moves to 6-0, 1KO. Silvije Kebet drops to 1-5.

Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson (2-0, 2KOs) boxed in his second professional contest against Birmingham’s Shane Dragonslayer (0-5). Thompson is a huge presence and carries somewhat of an aura around him. He is massive for a 200lb fighter as he is around the 6ft 6 mark. His first professional contest ended in a first round knockout victory for ‘Troublesome’ and this one ended in similar fashion. The fight was over in under a minute after Thompson threw his first meaningful punches. His opponent was hurt badly from the early blows and the referee jumped in to stop the contest to save Dragonslayer for taking more punishment. Thompson was once again victorious via first round TKO victory and appears to have a bright future under trainer and manager Lee Beard as he moves to 2-0 2KOs. Shane Dragonslayer drops to 0-5.

Wythenshawe’s Kofi Yates (13-1, 1KO) made his first appearance down at Lightweight in a six round contest against Yorkshire based Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi (13-82-3, 1KOs). It should be noted that Al Hamidi holds a victory over another Mancunian Lightweight, Anthony Crolla. That defeat came in the early stages of Crolla’s career. It was a slow start as Al Hamidi was very cagey from the outset. Yates gained the centre of the ring and looked to establish his jab early on. ‘Casper’ showed his jab was effective from the opening bell to the final bell, using it precisely to keep Al Hamidi at range and on the back foot. Al Hamidi made it awkward for Yates to go to work on the inside, using experienced tactics to smother Yates’ pressure. Al Hamidi attempted to trade on two occasions, and got wobbled by Yates on those two occasions. Yates landed good shots in the exchanges showing he was the dominant fighter in the contest. The referee saw the contest 60-54 in favour of Wythenshawe’s Kofi Yates who moves to 13-1, 1KO. Yates will now look to add to his Central Area Super Lightweight title this year and has suggested he may look to go down the international route for titles however has openly stated he will fight anyone. Youssef Al Hamidi drops to 13-82-3.

The main event of the evening came when Barrow Light Heavyweight Liam Conroy (9-3-1, 2KOs) faced Wakefield based Pole Krzysztof Golec (1-4) over eight rounds for the British Challenge Light Heavyweight belt. The first round began with Golec looking to apply pressure however Conroy took a lot on the gloves and used his jab well. It was obvious from the outset that Golec had come to win. The pace upped in round two with both fighters trading punches. The Barrow man got the cleaner work done and had his opponent in serious trouble at the end of round two until the bell came at a very good time for Golec. Conroy controlled the range well in the mid rounds, switching his attacks from body to head fluently. Conroy’s calculated pressure stopped his Polish opponent getting any sort of rhythm going in the fight. Conroy’s sharpness grew as the fight progressed and he continued to put his shots together well against the tough Golec. Golec still tried to apply pressure however was caught by a big left hook in the sixth where he was once again saved by the bell. Liam’s jab and left hook stopped most of the Wakefield mans attacks before they could start. Going into the latter stages both fighters kept up at high pace and Conroy finished strong with Golec hanging on to see the final bell, tying Conroy up to avoid getting stopped. Golec had successfully tied his Cumbrian opponent up well all night which was likely the reason he saw the final bell. The referee in charge scored the contest 79-74 in favour of Barrow’s Liam Conroy who produced a very mature performance for someone who is only 23 and will look to build on this performance under trainer and manager Johnney Roye. Conroy moves to 9-3-1, 2KOs. The gallant Krzysztof Golec drops to 1-4.

The show was an all around well-attended success with exciting prospects displaying their skills in front of a good crowd. The fights were competitive which is a refreshing sight in modern day professional boxing and fans really did get value for their money. Promoter, Manger and Trainer Johnney Roye weighed in on his opinions of the show,

“The show was good throughout and I look forward to the next one. This was a great way to start for MGM Manchester and we hope to continue bringing top quality competitive boxing to Preston for many years to come. All the fighters on the show gave it their all tonight and they can all be proud of their performances.”