Shaun Brown Boxing Academy made the long trip to Bridport in Dorset on Saturday night to Freshwater Beach Holiday Park, the home of ITV’s Broadchurch, with two unbeaten records on the line.
Precocious schoolboy boxer Jaidan Wyatt, 12, and stylish junior boxer Daniel Hardinge, 15, were matched against opponents from Wessex ABC having both last been successfully in action three weeks previously in Kent.
Wyatt was first under the lights having recorded two unanimous points victories, adding to his four skills bouts, prior to facing Wessex’s Fletcher Ridout. Boxing out of the red corner the Lancing youngster looked keen to make an impression taking early control of the centre of the ring and forcing his opponent back to the ropes.
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Two thudding right hands looked to have shaken Ridout but Wyatt failed to capitalise, perhaps a little over eager, by spoiling his work and not leaving himself enough room to work. A minor technical adjustment in the second round resulted in Wyatt working at a more effective range and after seconds of the restart Ridout was in trouble from a text book rear uppercut front hook combination and the referee administered a standing eight count.
A rear hand front hook salvo discouraged the Wessex boy further immediately once boxing recommenced and the official saved him from further punishment by stopping the contest to see Wyatt advance to 3-0.
Hardinge was next up, having stopped his previous opponent in the second round himself, and would also box out of the red corner.
He made a confident start to the opening exchanges looking to impose his obvious height and reach advantages over Taylor Cole. However, as the round progressed the Wessex boxer began to find a regular home for his sharp looking right-hand counter, drawing blood from the nose, but Hardinge remained composed under pressure.
The second round saw Hardinge up his work rate and push Cole onto the retreat for large periods whilst also nullifying his troublesome right hand with the use of some clever footwork. The destiny of the bout appeared to hang in the balance and Hardinge continued to force the pace with both boxers visibly tiring in the last round.
Unfortunately, it was Cole’s hand that was raised at the final bell in what must have been a very close points decision with the judges obviously influenced by his heavier punches.
The clubs England Boxing coach Stuart Smith said; “Both boxers were a credit to the club with their performances and conduct inside and outside of the ring. The fact that hosts Bridport ABC were insistent that we come back next year speaks volumes.
"I thought Daniel edged rounds two & three of his bout to just nick the decision but it wasn’t to be and we have no complaints. We win or we learn and Dan is already eager to get back in there”.
Wyatt will now follow in his coaches, Stuart Smith and Shaun Brown, footsteps having been selected to represent Sussex, on Thursday, November 29, against Surrey at Butlins Bognor Regis Resort and will face Lawrence Crane from Guildford City Boxing Club.