Sam Evans and Owen Jobburn went to war on Saturday evening.
The undefeated pair put on quite the show at the top of BCB Promotions’ ‘On The Edge’, sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Walsall, at Walsall Football Club writes James Eley.
Both fighters remain unbeaten but it was Jobburn who felt the more aggrieved following a 77-77 draw after eight absorbing rounds.
The Stoke pugilist insisted he slipped in the third round when referee, Shaun Messer, scored it a knock down and the contentious decision has left everybody, both fighters included, calling for a re-match. Surely this time with a Midlands Area title on the line.
Ricky Hatton trained Evans started the fight well, staying on the back foot and waiting for Jobburn to pounce before dodging and throwing sharp counter-punches.
Things started to turn difficult for the 21-year-old in the third round as a clash of heads opened up a nasty cut on the top of his head which was pouring blood into his eyes.
Evans still had enough vision to get close to his opponent and in the same round he threw a two-punch combination which sent the 28-year-old to the canvas.
It was difficult to determine if either punch had landed and Jobburn immediately rose to his feet unfazed and blaming a slip as the result of the tumble.
Referee Shaun Messer had a different opinion and he awarded Evans the knockdown.
There was a tear up in the fourth which Evans came out on top of and the exchange caused Jobburn to change tactics.
The former soldier backed off and let his opponent apply the pressure before picking him off on the counter.
Evans struggled to adapt and instead of working the jab to create an opening, he was impatient and rushed to the inside of Jobburn at every opportunity.
The Wednesbury boxer spent the rest of the contest barging his way forward and unloading but he failed to land many clean shots.
It was perhaps the final round that snatched victory away from Jobburn. Evans’ pressure eventually broke through as he finally found a home for both his left and right hands with a succession of hooks which secured him the round to rescue a draw. It was a scintillating battle, which will no doubt happen again before the end of 2017.
There were early nights for two of the undercard as Chad ‘2 Slick’ Sugden and Josh Stokes scored KO’s.
‘2 Slick’ put in a perfect display and thoroughly outclassed Norbert Szekeres to record a first round stoppage.
The 23-year-old from Newark cruised through the round, landing classy uppercuts and following through with left hooks.
Szekeres couldn’t land a single shot on the Newark fighter as he dodged and slipped before firing a brutal left hook which finished the Hungarian inside the first three minutes.
Josh Stokes felt his way into the first round before crippling Raimonds Sniedze with the shot of the night to take all the fight out of him.
Stokes landed the crushing overhead right just before the bell in the first round. The Latvian scrambled back to the corner after taking his time to rise to his feet from Stokes’ monstrous power.
Sniedze came out for the second and was instantly greeted by a punishing body blow which sent him back down to the canvas.
The 25-year-old rose for the final time before the West Bromwich pugilist ended proceedings with another powerful right hand which sent Sniedze tumbling before Messer waved the fight off.
The card was complete with two points victories for Chasetown’s Luke Jones and Irishman, Chris Blaney.
Jones picked apart the defence of Andy Harris to record a 40-37 victory with a disciplined performance to get him back to winning ways.
The Staffordshire boxer dominated the first round as he pinned his opponent to the corners and he left Harris with a cut by his left eye after a number of straight right hands.
Harris was too open and throwing wildly and he paid the price in the second round. Jones first landed with a dizzying right hand which shook Harris, the 23-year-old then continued the assault with a flurry of punches but Harris came through the storm still standing.
It wasn’t long before Jones found the target again with his right hand and Harris did well to end the round without taking one knee.
‘Thunder’ enjoyed a mini resurgence at the start of the third but Jones’ right hand was laser sighted and it didn’t take long before he connected again. The round ended with a bombing overhead right from Jones which was followed up by more accurate shots to Harris’ head.
Jones’ accuracy dipped in the final round but the fight was already won and he did more than enough to deserve the victory over the 34-year-old.
Chris Blaney laboured to a 58-56 victory against the tough Anthony Fox in the opening fight of the night.
The Irishman, trained by Ricky Hatton, did the cleaner work and occasionally showed flashes of his class with combinations and body shots.
By the third round the ‘Ginja Ninja’ looked exhausted as Fox kept up the relentless pressure and he continued the work-rate for the full six rounds.
Blaney was up against the ropes for most of the second half of the contest but he did just enough in return to come away dripping blood, but with a narrow win.
BCB Promotions’ next two shows take place in Northampton and Walsall on the weekend of the 29th and 30th September.