News has recently broke that Stuart Hall is set to top another blockbuster card at the Metro Radio Arena on 7 June. Making the second defence of his IBF bantamweight title vs Ellesmere’s Paul Butler. Hall has delivered headline bills to the North East in recent months, keeping hold of his Bantamweight belt in last month’s contest vs Martin Ward.
Although between now and Stuart Hall’s next defence of his world title, lies another stacked card which North East Boxing fans should be sure not to miss out on. On the 17th of May, Wraith Promotions is presenting a card at the Gateshead Leisure Centre.
While it may not prove to be as glamorous of a venue as the Metro Radio Arena, it is shaping up to give fight fans their money worth.
The professional show “Young Guns, A Boxing Bonanza” promises to host some of the North East’s brightest young talent. Headlining the show is a mouth-watering local derby between John “Razor” Watson (8-6-2) and Paul Archer (7-1) for the honours of the Northern Area Light-Welterweight title. Both boxers are searching for redemption, Archer is looking to bounce back from a point’s loss to Tony Dixon and Watson searching for his first victory since his three year break from the sport.
Fighting Chance Promotions manage some of the North East’s top boxing talents, including brothers Travis and Jon Lewis Dickinson. In the past month both have tasted great success, including Jon making history in the domestic scene by becoming Tyneside’s first boxer to win the Lonsdale belt outright. The third addition to the growing stable is Gateshead’s very own Craig Dixon (11-0), a former GB international. “The Birtley Bullet” is co-headlining the bill and looking to boost his unbeaten record. Dixon’s coach feels that his amateur pedigree can transfer successfully into the professional ranks.
“He was part of the GB set up which tells you everything. Craig wasn’t a one off international, he fought countless times for England.” he told the Chronicle Live.
The English Lightweight champion Kirk Goodings (11-1) who previously reigned victorious over Gary Fox, is featuring in a six round keep busy fight in preparation for a stiffer test later in the year. The Sunderland fighter in his last appearance was awarded by many as having the fight of the night, quite an accolade considering fifteen fights took place on the undercard of Stuart Hall vs Martin Ward.
Rumours are circulating that Tommy Ward (7-0) is more naturally gifted than his older brother, world title challenger Martin Ward. The younger of the Ward brothers will get a chance to prove this in front of the Gateshead audience. If Tommy can exceed his brother’s accolades in being the Commonwealth champion, then the North East could be in for many more entertaining nights involving the Ward family.
Super Flyweight Anthony Nelson (8-0) will fight in a six rounder, while Gateshead’s Craig Nicholson (4-0) will gain further experience in his fifth professional fight.
Lastly Tom Whitfield is set to make his professional debut, a decorated amateur career included travelling to Chicago and defeating the American Golden Gloves champion.
Promoter Steve Wraith is delighted to showcase the boxing talents which the North East has.
“It’s building up nicely. It’s nice to have the big London promoters paying attention to the
North East but the boxers realise that these smaller shows are the bread and butter of the sport. Without local promoters there is no boxing and I’ve said it in the past, the likes of Tommy Conroy and Phil Jeffries are the reason the sport has grown in the North East. They relit the flame, I’m simply carrying that torch by putting on these types of show."
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