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BOXING: Jose the main Man at Fightclub event
JOSE Mantinan stole the show as he claimed Swindon Fightclub’s Ultimate Non-Professional Boxing title by beating Phil Williams on points in front of a packed MECA on Saturday night.
The event once again sold out the venue as it put on a stunning fourth show, and the boxing lived up to all expectations as Swindon College Old Boys rugby player Mantinan edged an even headline bout.
Craig Leadbetter also boxed superbly as he knocked Terry West out inside a minute to claim the newly created middleweight title in style.
Pablo Mantinan beat Jay Trussle by decision and Leon Tuitt-Smith stopped Paul Goddard.
Shawn Grant out-pointed Rich Loveday, while Luke Hambidge took just 27 seconds to dispose of Matt Bennett.
Fightclub favourite Lee Hedges was back in the ring to face Matt Royle, and didn’t take long to pick up the victory as a first-round knockout kept up his unbeaten record having featured on all four shows.
Sean Harper was part of the team behind the event and was impressed with the standard of boxing, and believes Williams deserves the chance to win his title back after pushing Mantinan all the way.
“Some people think Phil should’ve won and some people think it was a draw, so there were some real mixed views on that one, but the referee gave it to Jose and that was the decision,” he said.
“It was very close, and we could easily see a second fight on that one. I think Phil is worthy of a rematch and a lot of people would like to see a repeat because the opinions of all of it was pretty split.
“Craig Leadbetter knocked out his opponent to win the middleweight title in style, and that really was a great fight. Shawn Grant also looked really good as he out-boxed Rich Loveday and that was also a great performance.
“All of the boxers did well, and they have to take a lot of credit for the way they performed.”
There are already plans for the fifth Fightclub show to be held in the summer, and Harper believes their latest offering was the best yet.
“We matched our previous record for tickets and there was a great crowd in, and the hype surrounding the night was probably the best yet,” he said.
“Everything looked the part on the night, and when the winners were announced we had confetti canons blasting and everything looked the part, all the little things made it great.
“The sound system was awesome too and really got the crowd going, and everything about the whole night was so much better.
“We had a lot of issues with the undercard and a few last minute drop-outs and things like that, but everyone stood up to the mark and boxed really well.”