Despite Sheppey’s long association and affinity with boxing, the area has not yet played host to a professional boxing show.
JE Promotions are about to change that by having secured the newly-built Oasis Academy as a venue to stage the Island’s first ever pro boxing event on February 4th 2017.
A trio of talented fighters from the thriving Invicta Gym in Sheerness are set to top the bill – unbeaten heavyweight Dave Jones; undefeated middleweight prospect Oli Edwards; and Prizefighter semi-finalist Tom Dallas.
The Kent-based promotional outfit have a track record for delivering pro boxing shows to new areas for the first time having staged many successful shows in Worksop’s North Notts Arena after a history of amateur boxing events and rejuvenating boxing at Maidstone’s Mote Park for the first time in 16 years.
Trainer Ray Askew’s Invicta Gym will take the centre stage with their top talents headlining the Island’s maiden event.
Unbeaten heavyweight Dave Jones (7-0), 35-years-old from Queenborough, will be back in action for the first time since winning the International Challenge belt back in June.
The former British Army heavyweight champion has won all seven fights on points and has a high work-rate and big engine to rely on. A significant scalp on his ledger is former Midlands Area champion Paul Butlin in his just his third fight punching for pay.
One of the gym’s most exciting prospects is unbeaten middleweight Oli Edwards (4-0).
The 21-year-old comes into the fifth fight of his fledgling career after securing his first ever stoppage in just 24 seconds on October 29th in Maidstone against Hungarian opponent Laszlo Kovacs II (9-5).
The fight on February 4th will mark the end of his first two years in the paid ranks since debuting back in March 2015.
Heavyweight hopeful Tom Dallas (17-6), 31-years-old from Chatham, will get another chance to get his flailing career back on track.
After dominating the opening round in his comeback fight last October at Mote Park and flooring his Croatian counterpart – Igor Mihaljevic (3-6) – the Southern Area title contender was caught as he went in for the finish and was ultimately stopped with just four seconds to in the second round.
It was the exact same time on the clock at 2:56 when he lost in the first round to former World heavyweight champion Charles Martin at Madison Square Garden in April 2015.
The setting couldn’t have been any more different for Dallas but the result was discouragingly the identical. It’ll be a crucial fight for Dallas if he is to get back on the title trail after slipping to a third consecutive defeat in a fight that should have provided a routine win.
Fresh from his Southern area title triumph over Brighton’s Nick Jenman, Grant ‘Go-Getter’ Dennis (7-0) will participate in a six-rounder to sharpen the tools before aiming for bigger honours in what should be an interesting and exciting 2017 for the unbeaten middleweight.
Chelmsford’s southpaw Tom McGinley (2-1-1) and Middlesex’s super-lightweight Elvis Makoda (3-1-2) will each be looking to further improve their peppered records in their respective fights.
Improving super-featherweight Chris Matthews (5-0); Chatham southpaw Charlie Shane (3-0); and ‘The Medway Mauler’ Louis Greene (5-0) will all look to continue their unbeaten streaks.
Two debutants make their pro bow on the historical night for the area – Rochester cruiserweight Owen Stone and ex-England International Luke Gibbo.
For tickets to the next show, visit https://www.facebook.com/JEsportsnetwork/ or call 07883 943994