A PACKED house at the Supermarine Sports and Social Club witnessed a fine display of amateur boxing when Walcot ABC held their annual winter event, writes DAVE VEYSEY.

Swindon Mayor Kevin Parry was the guest of honour and presented the trophies for many of the 13 contests, 11 of which involved Walcot boxers.

The Peter Foley trophy for ‘Best Walcot Boxer’ – an award given in memory of a popular local boxing journalist and referee – was presented to Bolton Fernandes after a hard-fought contest against Innocent Mayo, of Second City ABC in Birmingham.

The 19-year-old light-welterweight stood toe-to-toe with his muscular opponent for the entire contest, with both fighters landing with plenty of leather.

After three entertaining rounds, the Walcot camp felt their man had edged the bout, but the ringside judges found in favour of Mayo on a split points decision.

In a night of close contests, Walcot’s only ring victory was provided by Jai Khaira.

The 13-year-old met Leighland Rouse from the newly-formed Swindon Allstars RWB ABC.

Youngster Rouse was making Allstars club history as he was the first boxer to enter the ring in competition from the Royal Wootton Bassett-based outfit.

Both boxers landed with plenty of left jabs during a close first round.

However, during the second session, Khaira stepped up his work-rate to produce a telling combination of punches which led to Rouse being given a standing count by referee Ken Brain.

The final round saw the Walcot fighter continue to dominate the brave Rouse and win by a unanimous points verdict.

All Stars head coach Lionel McCrea was proud to see Rouse become the first fighter to represent the new club in the ring.

He said: “Leighland gave a good account of himself in defeat. He represent the club and himself with extreme dignity.

“For me, it was more about the performance of Leighland rather then the result.

“I am very proud of his performance and I feel Leighland has a bright future with Swindon Allstars RWB ABC.”

Walcot had two senior boxers making their ring debuts, and although they lost, both did the club proud.

Jamie Canavan, 26, performed well but lost a close contest on a split points decision to Mark Sharpe, from Cheltenham Boxing Academy.

Kevin Ponting, 24, battled bravely for three rounds but lost out to David Light, also from Cheltenham BA.

Walcot also endured some narrow defeats amongst their schoolboy boxers.

Jack Irwin, 14, lost on a split points verdict after a close and exciting bout with Jacore Collins-Austin, from Blackbird Leys ABC in Oxford.

Johnny Delaney was involved in a terrific scrap against Ryan Herschell, from the Cheltenham BA, before losing on points.

Blake Young, 11, lost to the strong Drewy Lee, from Swindon’s Scrappers Boxing Gym.

Jake Murawiki, 15, lost on points to Charlie Cookham, from Turners Boxing Academy in Surrey.

While 16-year-old Hamza Zafar lost out to Kian Whalen, from Baker Street ABC in Gloucester.

Jake Cole-Smith and Benedict Delaney both represented the host club in non-scoring skills matches.

Walcot chief coach Harry Scott said: “Our show has been a success, although in the ring the close decisions went against us this evening.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to a great evening’s boxing.

“Especially our main sponsor, Gibbs Surfacing Ltd, our guests of honour, Mayor Kevin Parry and Mayoress Barbara Parry, our match-maker Dan Hughes and our club chairman John McGrath.”