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The need for Swede
5:50am Friday 4th May 2012 in Boxing
MOST boxers would turn down a fight at just 24 hours notice but not Swindon’s Lawrence Bennett.
The bout in question was also in Sweden but that didn’t faze the inexperienced Bennett, who faced just his second professional fight.
Horseshoe Gym light-heavyweight Bennett not only took the fight but upset the applecart by beating his Swedish counterpart.
Bennett’s whirlwind 24 hours began at 2.30pm on Thursday last week when his promoter Keith Mayo received a call offering the bout.
Just hours after agreeing to the fight, Bennett was on a plane from Stanstead airport en route to Sweden. And with barely an hour’s sleep, the 29-year-old was weighing in at the Cloetta Center in Linkoping before retiring to the hotel for the remaining few hours before his bout.
Bennett faced local favourite Stefan Schallengrubber, a more experienced boxer with four pro wins to his name, on the undercard of the WBC ladies’ world title fight.
But Bennett shocked the 3,000-strong home crowd by dishing out a boxing lesson to Schallengrubber.
After a sharp opening round, the Swindon boxer marked his rival’s face with fierce jabs and straight left hands.
Bennett continued his good work in the second before tiring slightly in the final round as he earned a deserved 38-38, 39-37, 39-37 decision from the judges.
Bennett was delighted with his fine win but admitted he doesn’t want to fight at such short notice again.
“It was quite daunting but in a way I didn’t have to think about the fight and there wasn’t really time to get nervous,” said Bennett.
“We took the fight and got the result but we didn’t know anything about the fight or the opponent.
“I’ve been in training anyway, so I was in good shape but I never expected to ever be fighting at such short notice, especially in somewhere like Sweden.
“I barely had time to think.
“We took the call at 2.30pm on the Thursday and hours later we were on a plane to Sweden.
“I only had a few hours sleep, a quick bite to eat before I was weighing in and then fighting.
“Once I was in the ring it was down to me.
“I wanted to do my best and I produced the performance and got the result.
“It’s nights like this why I got into boxing.”
Cornerman Joe Wrona travelled with Bennett and the experienced boxing coach was extremely impressed with his boxer.
“Nobody realises the difficult situation he was put in,” said Wrona.
“To fight at such short notice and on such a high profile bill in just his second fight takes some character.
“We didn’t know anything about the opponent and he barely had any time to sleep let alone prepare for the fight.
“He was nervous in his first fight at the Oasis earlier this year but I saw such a transformation in Lawrence in this fight.
“Everyone ringside in Sweden was so impressed with Lawrence and in all my years of boxing I’ve have never seen or heard of anyone doing something like this let alone producing such a performance.”
The Horseshoe Gym fighter will now take some time out to train properly before he picks his next fight.
He explained: “Who knows when my next fight will be.
“I’ve had loads of offers already on the back of this win but now I need to just sit back, stay grounded before choosing my next fight.
“I want a decent block of training before I fight again and continue to build my reputation.
“I don’t want to just take the money for any old fight, I need the right fights.
“I’ll fight anyone but I don’t want to be someone who always says ‘I could have done this or that’.
“I want to achieve something, fulfil my potential and make a career out of the sport.
“I want to be somebody who people talk about.”
- HORSESHOE Gym youngster Andrew Reeves sealed his fourth win in a row last week.
The 15-year-old produced a battling display against home boxer Adam Arkle at Lydney ABC’s show.
Arkle came out firing from the opening bell forcing Reeves onto the ropes. But the Horseshoe Gym boxer covered up well and came away from the first round unscathed.
Reeves picked his punches in the second round to set up a thrilling deciding round.
Both boxers pulled out all the stops in the final ruond but a telling blow from Reeves which caught his rival flush on the chin ultimately earned him the decision.
Head amateur coach Brian Roberts said: “I was very impressed with Andrew.
“He boxed well after a tough opening round.
“We didn’t expect his opponent to come out so fast in the opener but Andrew defended well and pulled himself together quickly.
“It’s early days and he still has a lot to learn but he’s made a very impressive start to his amateur career with a fourth consecutive victory.”
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