A unanimous win for Bideford ABC’s Billy Stanbury topped a superb night of Western Counties Elite Finals boxing at a packed out Hartland Parish Hall on Saturday night.
Stanbury got revenge on old foe Max Earle from Mayflower, who he had previously lost to on points.
Earle started confidently, catching Stanbury with lead right hands, but it wasn’t long before Stanbury sussed out his opponent and countered with left hand crosses and right hooks.
The Bideford boxer went up another gear in the second round, showcasing some class boxing scoring with combinations and pivoting off at angles in a one-sided round.
Earle needed a big last round but Stanbury needed no invite to go toe-to-toe, as they stood in the middle and traded blows.
Stanbury was the one always starting an finishing the exchanges on top, showing plenty of punch variation and a high work rate.
Jacob Stevenson (Bideford) v Shane Miller (Port Talbot Bulldogs)
Bideford had a total seven lads on the bill, picking up five wins in support bouts.
Jacob Stevenson was Bideford’s boxer of the night as he overturned a previous loss against Shane Miller from Port Talbot Bulldogs.
Stevenson was sharp on his jab, knocking Miller’s head back continuously in a dominant first round.
In the second, Miller tried getting in his trademark overhand rights, but Stevenson was too fast, making him miss and then pay with strong counter punches.
Stevenson went on the front foot in the last as he had worn his opponent down and looked good landing with combinations to win three one-sided rounds to gain a unanimous points win.
Jamie Croarkin (Bideford) v Theodore Evans (Tavistock ABC)
Jamie Croarkin bought a big crowd to watch his debut against Theodore Evans from Tavistock ABC.
Croarkin started well, catching Evans on the way in with hard right crosses and right uppercuts in a great first round.
In the second, Evans upped the pressure, trapping the Bideford boxer on the ropes showing a great punch output to even it up into the last round.
Both boxers dug in deep and gave everything they had in a back and forth round as they traded punches, neither boxer willing to give an inch.
Tavistock’s Evans won the tightest of split decisions.
Igor Sliwinski (Bideford) v Aiden Hampsey (Chepstow)
Igor Sliwinski was looking to knock out Aiden Hampsey from Chepstow from the first bell, winging in with big shots.
Hampsey soon realised what Sliwinski was about after taking a few shots and began staying out of trouble.
Sliwinski again went out trying to find home for his big punches but with Hamsey in defensive mode, Sliwinski dropped in some lovely body shots to lower the Welshman’s guard.
Sliwinski finally got his break early in the last round as a wild overhand right found the target, rocking Hampsey as the referee stepped in an gave him a standing count.
The over-eager Sliwinski needed no invite to finished the job off, and rallied away to the head and body to force a third round technical knockout.
Lewis Cornish (Bideford) v Dillyn Wallis (Tiverton)
Lewis Cornish put in a solid three rounds to gain a split decision win over Dillyn Wallis from Tiverton.
Cornish found home to crisp straight punches from the opening bell as he held the power advantage.
Wallis tried to box and move in the second and had moments of success as the pace dropped.
But Cornish upped the work rate in the last, landing some solid right crosses in a dominant round where he was on the front foot from the first bell to the last.
Kye Cook (Bideford) v Cameron Clarke (Exeter)
Kye Cook returned to the ring after a three-year break. His opponent, Cameron Clarke from Exeter, tried to stick the pressure on Cook from the opening bell, but Cook created room and slotted home lead backhands from his effective southpaw stance.
Cook carried on his success in the second, working well from head and body, landing some solid right hooks towards the end of the round to dominate.
Clarke didn’t go down without a fight, putting in a good work rate in the last and landing some right hands of his own; but Cook’s work in the early rounds was enough for a good points win in what was an impressive return to the ring.
Will Fishleigh (Bideford) v Elijah Carroll (Chepstow ABC)
Will Fishleigh showed plenty of potential in his debut against a very talented boxer Elijah Carroll from Chepstow ABC.
Fishleigh got caught cold, taking a standing count from a barrage of punches from Carrol as he came flying out the blocks.
Fishleigh fought fire with fire though, giving back as good as he got and finishing the round with Carroll stuck on the ropes.
Fishleigh had already taken Carroll’s best efforts and was growing in confidence in a dominant second round.
He was continually catching Carroll with solid straight punches, his opponent unable to set up his big shots.
It was level going into a final round that showcased a great contrast of styles; Fishleigh was the boxer with fast hands and nimble footwork as Carroll brawled his way in looking for power shots over the top.
It was tight at the bell as Carroll took the split decision points victory.
Sonny Boyes (Tiverton) won split v Marcus Miller (Port Talbot Bulldogs)
Jacob Croot (Downend) won unanimous v Callum Smith (Trowbridge)
Brad Ingram (Mayflower) won split v Brandon Stacey (Devonport)
Lee Cutler (Parkstone) won unanimous v Micky Parson (Broadplain)
Ben Cunnif (Intense) won unanimous v Lewis Scutt (Sydenham)