Boxing is back ! Friday night’s Queensberry Promotions show broadcast live on BT Sport was a resounding success. The strictest hygiene measures, social distancing and, to cap it all off some great performances and fights.
Top of the bill saw Brad Foster 13-0-2 (5 KO’s) gain a Lonsdale belt outright in defence of his British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight titles. In a highly competitive fight he defeated fellow-Midlander James Beech Jnr 12-1 (2 KO’s) by unanimous decision.
The cards of 116-113, 117-111 and 117-111 only told half the story as Foster had to come through some difficult moments, rallying late in the fight to eventually secure victory. Foster admitted in the post fight interview that he’d been below par and only really got started from the 7th round onwards but his class eventually prevailed as Beech troubled by an early cut over his left eye and receiving some sickening body shots faded in the championship rounds (10 through 12).
The card also saw good performances from rising super-welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz 11-0 (7KO’s) who outgunned Scottish southpaw Paul Kean 12-2 (1 KO) over six rounds and promising heavyweight David Adeleye 2-0 (2 KO’s) who bombed out Matt Gordon 2-3-1 (0) inside two rounds.
The evening started anti-climatically with Portsmouth’s Mark Chamberlain 6-0 (4 KO’s) registering a first round stoppage of Stu Greener. Whilst a resounding victory for Chamberlain it primarily served the purpose of welcoming British boxing back since the enforced lockdown on 17th March. It introduced a new world of referees with face masks, chief seconds being heard yelling at their charges with no crowd in attendance and perspex screens separating British Boxing Board of Control officials from the usual ringside huddle and festivities. But, as a starter for the many live shows planned over the next two months it was the perfect re-introduction.
Congratulations go to the efforts of Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions team, the Board of Control officials, medics and BT Sport for making this happen. Not forgetting the fortitude and dedication of the boxers involved who served up the perfect re-entry of our sport to something like a ‘new normal’.