Tag Archives: Tom Whitfield

Area champion relinquishes belt, hangs up gloves

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Northern Area welterweight champion, Billy Snaith, has retired from professional boxing two months after defeating rival Daniel Cope at Hardwick Hall.

Snaith, who turned professional under Peter Cope Snr two years ago has five wins and two titles from five outings in the paid ranks, however, family commitments have prompted the decision to hang up the gloves, that and he’s accomplished all he set out to do.

“I’ve a new baby on the way and really want to spend time more with the family,” explained Snaith.

“I feel it’s the right thing and have achieved everything I set out to do.

“I won the Northern Area title (on April 22 via a points win over Cope) and that’s what I wanted to do; I have no regrets. I’ll look back in years to come and be happy with what I’ve done.

“It hasn’t been a rushed decision, I’ve thought about it for a while, spoke in depth with family and my team. I was happy to become a professional boxer so to do that, and win a couple of titles, I’m happy.”

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The clash with Cope was a well-publicised affair, the pair at loggerheads on social media in the months building up to their title fight, with Snaith taking Cope’s title after ten rounds of non-stop action.

Now the dust has settled, and although he promised a rematch, it’s now down to the Boxing Board, and the region’s managers and promoters, as to what happens with the vacant title. Snaith was originally scheduled to oppose Tom Whitfield when he joined Steve Wraith’s camp earlier this year however, due to injury to Whitfield that never materialised.

Cope and Whitfield have faced each other twice already, both earning a win apiece and Snaith believes they should go again, for his relinquished title, adding: “I would like to see Daniel face Tom again, they deserve it.

“What Daniel and I went through was just one of those things. It got heated but it’s over and I hope that, if we see each other at shows, or pass in the street, we can talk.”

Snaith’s Tyneside-based manager Steve Wraith was understanding of the decision to walk away, the Ferryhill fighter giving him his first Area champion after nearly five years on the pro circuit himself.

Snaith and stablemate Jeff Saunders picked up titles on the Hardwick Hall show and Wraith said: “It was no-brainer for me when Billy asked me to manage him and we both knew that he wouldn’t be hanging around.

“I got him two title shots and he was the victor in both. What he’s doing now is admirable and I know he’ll be a miss but family comes first.

“My job is to manage and achieve dreams and it was great while it lasted so I’m sure the boxing family will wish him well.”

Having fought out of two boxing gyms, in Hartlepool and South Durham, Snaith has been round a few people during the couple of years in the paid ranks and extends his thanks to those that have helped him.

“Peter Cope Snr and Alan Temple gave me my break and I’ll always be grateful for that but I’d also like to thanks Tracey and Jeff Saunders, my manager Steve Wraith, Ian Glass for getting me in the shape of my life, Stu Armstrong, Peter Mann, and most importantly my friends and family, we’ve had a blast.”

(Originally published in the Newcastle Chronicle, June 2017)

 

Kelly has soul, he’s superbad, after stunning stoppage win in Walker

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Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports have promised as returned to the region before the end of this year after a hugely successful show at the Walker Dome on Friday night.

Headlined by Sunderland Olympian, Josh ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly against Birtley’s Tom ‘TNT’ Whitfield, fight fans were far from disappointed by that, or the strong undercard, contests which left the Matchroom supremo dreaming of success to come in the area.

The likes of Stuart Hall, Warren Baister, Simon Vallily and Bradley Saunders, alongside Josh Kelly, all did the region proud when collecting wins, some more emphatically than others.

Kelly put Whitfield to the sword in the headline contest which last less than two minutes after the Rio Olympian pinned the former Northern Area title challenger to the ropes, in their corner, and unleashed seven lefts in quick succession for which there was not only no answer, but left a dazed and confused Whitfield on the canvas unsure what to do next.

Afterwards Kelly said: “I was ready for eight rounds as you can never plan for what happens in a contest.

“Short of stopping an opponent you don’t know how long a contest will last however, once the jabs started landing I knew I had the contest won it was just down to the timing of the shots and knowing in my head that I’d catch him sooner rather than later.”

The world is certainly the oyster for Kelly, but for Whitfield its back to the drawing board with the next move needing to be plotted wisely by coach Mal Gates; there was no disgrace in the loss or it’s manner either, Kelly being destined to be a future world champion, and who knows Whitfield could do a rematch in the future?

The Birtley fighter added: “I got KO’d off a future world champion.

“I trained hard for this, putting miles on the road and rounds in the gym but boxing is all about levels and we knew we were stepping up a massive level to take on Josh.

“I’ve never ducked a fight though and never ducked this one. I had no hesitation when we were offered it as it was a massive opportunity to box on a live Sky show and to share the ring with a future world champion.

“This time last year I was recovering from a broken jaw and now I’ve just topped a Sky Sports show, it’s what dreams are made of.”

The remainder of the main Sky Sports bill saw Hetton’s Jordan King collect a routine win Adam Jones, Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler claim an impressive stoppage success at the start of the fourth against Nikolavs Gvajava and ‘Miss GB,’ Natasha Jonas turn up the heat with a stunning debut performance with a first round stoppage of Monika Antonik.

On the undercard, Bradley Saunders made an emphatic return after some 21 months out with injury and showed little sign or ring rust, or after effects to double hand surgery, he claimed first round, 163 second stoppage win after opponent Casey Blair’s corner threw in the towel whilst former world champion, Stuart Hall, eased to a comfortable six round win over the tricky Jose Aguilar.

The four Fighting Chance opening the bill impressed to warrant further exposure as Darren Reay and Jamie Humble earner points successes, Kris Pilkington fought a tough draw whilst Ferryhill’s hard hitter, Kyle Redfearn, notched up another stoppage win, his third in four, to remain unbeaten, taking down Martin Orlusiak late in the second; cruiserweight’s Warren Baister and Simon Vallily also tasted victory as the former stopped Imantas Davidaitas early in the second, and the latter was pushed the distance by Blaise Mendouo over six.

After the show Hearn said of a potential return: “I’d like to come back to the Newcastle (Metro Radio) Arena in October with Vallilly vs. Baister, Stuart Hall in that kind of find, and Josh Kelly.

“Bradley needs another fight still because he’s been out a long time but after that I don’t see why he shouldn’t jump in at the deep end.

“We probably need one more to add real depth to the card as well but there was 2,000 tickets sold on Friday night and a lot of the young kids were starting out so it was very encouraging.”

Saunders & Snaith to be unleashed on Tyneside

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South Durham duo, undefeated Jeff Saunders and stablemate Billy Snaith, both appear at the Walker Dome on March 11 as Tyneside promoters Steve Wraith and Lewis Pendleton join forces.

Last year Saunders and Snaith appeared at St James’ Park as Steve Wraith took professional boxing back to the heart of Newcastle for the first time in nearly fifty years, both picking up credible victories.

At that time Snaith was under the guidance of Peter Cope Snr and Alan Temple in Hartlepool, shortly after he would sign management terms with Wraith and move to the South Durham gym where he trains alongside Saunders, Neil Hepper and Carl Wilson.

Now Snaith’s first outing under Wraith’s management will be for the British Challenge Belt over eight rounds in a regional dust-up with Mal Gates trained, Tom Whitfield early next month.

“I’m excited for what is a new challenge, a new chapter in my career,” said Snaith.

“(Peter) Cope Snr and (Alan) Temple have done a lot for me in my early career as a professional and I thank them for that, they gave me a chance and it’s much appreciated.

“I felt the time was right to move on and I know Steve is a good person and will certainly get me what I want in the fight game. I can already see improvements in my fitness being at South Durham and that’s brilliant.

“I’ve known Jeff Snr since the amateurs and, with this being closer to home, it certainly makes things easier for me, there’s also some fantastic sparring in here for me as well what with Jeff (Saunders), Carl (Wilson), Neil (Hepper), you’ve also got the amateurs here who’re a tough bunch.

“I’m looking to keep myself busy this year though and I wanted to fight both (Tom) Whitfield and (Daniel) Cope, that’s what I asked Steve for when I signed and he’s delivered.

“The three of us know that we can beat each other on any given day and that’s what makes for better fights between us.”

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WATCH THE FORTITUDE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

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Continuing his progression in the paid ranks, Sedgefield’s Jeff Saunders will be looking to progress in the same vein of form the past two years have taken, by impressing and winning whilst moving into title contention.

Opposing Frenchman Mohamed Larabi over six rounds Saunders continues to increase the pressure in the rankings as he looks to have a title-winning year.

“Last year was a very good year for me, I’m still unbeaten and got some good experience behind me with some tough fights,” added Jeff.

“I’m feeling good though, I always do but will never take anyone for granted, ever. Everyone has that punches chance in a fight but I’m confident in myself and my abilities and I’m sure it will be a good six round fight.

“As for this year, I want a title definitely and I like the sound of the English title, I’d love a shot for that at the back of this year.”

Saunders and Snaith will appear at the Steve Wraith – Lewis Pendleton show, Fortitude, alongside Basi Razaq, Kyle Redfearn, Lee Mould and more, at the Walker Activity Dome on March 11, tickets available from all fighters priced at £35.

FORTITUDE FIGHT CARD

Tom Whitfield vs. Billy Snaith 8 x 3

(British Challenge Belt)

Basi Razaq vs. Dwayne Sheldon 8 x 3

(British Challenge Belt)

Jeff Saunders vs. Mohamed Larabi 6 x 3

Lee Mould vs. Steve Backhouse

Jamie Humble vs. Luke Fash

Krisy Pilkington (debut) vs. Qasim Husain

Kyle Redfearn vs.  Kysztof Golec

Darren Reay (debut) vs. Youseff Al Hamidi

Gritty Gates and his stable have plenty of Hart

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It’s been a tough time in the Harton & Westoe gym but that’s not stopped head coach Mal Gates and his team carrying on regardless.
Anthony Nelson ‘retired’ after his loss to Jamie Conlan in the deserved Fight of the Year for 2016, Lee Mould has struggled for fights through no fault of his own, Tom Whitfield suffered a broken jaw then on his return lost his Northern Area title challenge to Dan Cope, and Paul Gidney has suffered what no family should go through behind the scenes as the boxing world rallied for Poppy.
This year though things are changing as Sam Menzies has joined the camp, Mould is chasing time down several opportunities, Gidney is back in the ring making up for lost time, and Whitfield, well he’s preparing to take on another regional rival in Steve Wraith –managed fighter, Billy Snaith, for the British Challenge belt at the Walker Dome next month.
“What’s gone before, last year, is making him (Whitfield) come back stronger, in and out of the gym,” began coach Gates.
“This fight, with Snaith, is a really good fight for him to come back out with and, with it being at a heavier weight, then it’s better for him as well.
“We’ve just been keeping things more low-key in order to turn up on fight night and do the business. Things are going really well though (in the gym) with some great sparring and strength work and with Tom, he’s happy and capable of doing two different weight which makes it a little easier for us.”
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As Tom is with Gates, and opponent on March 11, Snaith, is with Steve Wraith, the close friendship between Gates and Wraith will be there for all to see, close friends on opposite sides of the ring.
Gates knows though, come the final bell, then “that relationship never changes, we’ll shake hands and carry on as before.
“We just need to get Tom ready for the fight, and it’s a tough one for both lads.
“I like Billy (Snaith) and have known since his amateur days and respect him for his ability and record so we’ll go in there and do what’s needed on the night.”
Elsewhere in the gym, Gidney and Menzies are benefiting from that erstwhile, bubblesome character, Paul Charters.
A fine addition to the Harton stable, Charters has helped bring the lads along in leaps and bounds and, with Gidney recently returned, the gym is whole again.
“Paul (Gidney) is coming out of what has been a bit of a traumatic year last year and has missed a bit of his career but it’s family and you can’t even imagine what he (and Kayla) have been through.
“We’re just glad that he’s back in the gym and happy, he and Sam (Menzies) are my little rugrats, that’s what I call them, and when you add Charters, a loveable little rogue, into the mix, then you can see the bond between them.
“Gidney has the same style about him as Charters did when he fought so they certainly make a good pair.”
Ahead of his title fight with local rival, Billy Snaith, on the Wraith-Pendleton ‘Fortitude’ show at the Walker Dome on March 11, Whitfield is looking for sponsors to help progress his career. Any interested parties should contact the Harton & Westoe gym, or message @proboxgates on Twitter for more information.

Wraith takes a Fighting Chance

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Tyneside promoters, Steve Wraith (Pro Boxing Newcastle Gateshead) and Lewis Pendleton (Fighting Chance Promotions) are joining forces this March to bring the regions fight fans, ‘Fortitude’ at the Walker Dome, Newcastle.

The show, which features two title fights involving Tom Whitfield, 4-1 against Billy Snaith, 3-0 (British Challenge at super welterweight) and Basi Razaq, 6-1-1(3) opposing Dwayne Sheldon, 2-4(1) (British Challenge at welterweight).

Snaith joins his new stablemates Jeff Saunders, 9-0(5), Carl Wilson, 4-5-1(3), and Neil Hepper, 8-4 on an exciting, stacked bill after he recently joined the Wraith bandwagon along with Fighting Chance prospects Kyle Redfearn, 1-0(1), Jamie Humble, 2-0(1) and Jone TK Volau, 4-1(1) among numerous others.

Speaking of his fighters on the upcoming show manager-promoter Steve Wraith said: “Hepper continues to be much sought after but we are looking after his interests and looking to build his record before looking at the bigger picture.

“Snaith is head strong and determined to achieve all that he can in a short space of time. He approached me asking if I would be willing to help him achieve his ambitions and there was no hesitation.

“He comes from one of the best gyms in the north-east (Cope’s) and is now at another with Jeff Saunders, Mark McGuiness and Ian Glass looking after him; I feel that he has some exciting nights ahead.

“I’m also hoping Wilson is back and ready to rumble after being hit with a bad chest infection with him looking to build on his great stoppage win at St James Park last year.” IMG-20170123-WA0004

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In Lewis Pendleton, north-east boxing’s new kid on the block who’s full of progressive ideas, the show marks the start of a new year in which he, his staff and fighters can continue to flourish in the spotlight.

He added: “Fighting Chance are proud to be returning to Tyneside for this our first show of 2017, we are pleased to be working with Steve again as he adds some exciting additions from his stable to the show.

“Headlining will see Tom Whitfield against Billy Snaith in a super welterweight contest and Basi Razaq versus Dwayne Sheldon at welterweight.

“I am particularly excited to see Kyle Redfearn take on Krzysztof Golec who caused a major upset in his last outing in Newcastle beating Sam Best whilst Jamie Humble will continue his apprenticeship as he looks to make rapid progress towards titles this year and TK will be looking to make a statement and get back to winning ways as he looks for a title opportunity in 2017.

“We’ve also made offers to several fighters and their managers for Lee Mould and are hoping that we can get him a title opportunity on this bill, if not he will certainly be boxing for a title headlining our next show in May.”

Tickets for ‘Fortitude,’ on March 11 at the Walker Dome, will be available soon from the fighters, online, and from the venue priced at £35 (standard), £50 (VIP Ringside) and £75 (VVIP front row ringside & corporate lounge).

Announcements regarding press conferences will be made online soon.

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Wraith lands Snaith

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Undefeated in his three professional outings to date, Ferryhill super welterweight, Billy Snaith, has parted company with Hartlepool’s Peter Cope and Alan Temple to sign managerial terms with Tyneside promoter, Steve Wraith.

The move means that, in leaving Hartlepool, he will now be trained in Fishburn under the tutelage of Jeff Saunders Snr and alongside Wraith’s other managed fighters in Jeff Saunders, Carl Wilson and Neil Hepper.

Snaith, who’ll make his bow under new management on March 11 at the Walker Dome, said: “I’m excited for what is a new challenge, a new chapter in my career.

“Cope and Temple have done a lot for me in my early career as a professional and I thank them for that, they gave me a chance and it’s much appreciated.

“I felt the time was right to move on and I know Steve is a good person and will certainly get me what I want in the fight game. I can already see improvements in my fitness being at South Durham and that’s brilliant.

“I’ve known Jeff Snr since the amateurs and, with this being closer to home, it certainly makes things easier for me, there’s also some fantastic sparring in here for me as well what with Jeff (Saunders), Carl (Wilson), Neil (Hepper), and Adam Watson pops in, then you’ve got the amateurs here who’re a tough set of lads.”

Both Steve and Billy know that this, first year together, is crucial, and the fighter is certainly already chasing the big fights with regional prospects, Tom Whitfield, and former stablemate Daniel Cope, in his sights.

For the Tyneside promoter the opportunity to sign up Snaith was too good to pass up and knows that he is moving from one top class gym (Gus Robinson’s) to another (South Durham).

“I am delighted to welcome Billy to our team,” added Steve Wraith.

“He is head strong and determined to achieve all that he can in a short space of time. He approached me asking if I would be willing to help him achieve his ambitions and there was no hesitation.

“He comes from one of the best gyms in the north-east (Cope’s) and is now at another with Jeff Saunders, Mark McGuiness and Ian Glass looking after him; I feel that he has some exciting nights ahead.”

Exciting nights is certainly what Snaith and the rest of the Wraith camp are looking at this year and the super welterweight finished saying: “I’m looking to keep myself busy this year and I want to fight both (Tom) Whitfield and (Daniel) Cope.

“The three of us know that we can beat each other on any given day and that’s what makes for better fights between us.”

Billy Snaith is scheduled to make his first appearance under Steve Wraith on the Pendleton-Wraith co-promotion at the Walker Dome on March 11 alongside his stablemates.

 

Showdown at St James – Statement

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The following is a statement from Tyneside Promoter, Steve Wraith, in relation to the proposed Northern Area title clash between Tom Whitfield and Daniel Cope at this September’s ‘Showdown @ St James’

“The proposed Northern Area title fight between Tom Whitfield and Daniel Cope has been removed from our show on September 25th.

“The move comes after the Cope brothers, Peter and Daniel, changed management last week. We wish both lads all the very best for the future and are presently looking at options for Tom Whitfield for our show in September so he can fulfil his dream of fighting at the best stadium in the North-East, St. James Park.”

PBNG Ticket Office and fighters on the card. Further information regards the card will be seen on this site, or in the local press.

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All systems go for the autumn showdown

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Now the English Football League fixtures have been announced Tyneside promoter-manager Steve Wraith can officially announce the date of his ‘Showdown @ St James’ – September 25.

In taking professional boxing back the beating heart of Newcastle and the scene of many a glorious afternoon/evening at the St James Hall venue Steve will look to reignite the fire in the belly of boxing fans across the region.

Headlining at The Bamburgh Suite will be a Northern Area title clash, and rematch, between Tom Whitfield and Daniel Cope, the pair renewing rivalries after their non-stop tussle at Rainton Meadows last year.

The show will also see the long-awaited return of Darlington’s Neil Hepper who, after some 18+ months away from the sport, signed a managerial contract late last year and will be looking to show that the move was a decision worth making.

Hepper will be joined by another Darlington fighter making his comeback in Carl Wilson (pending board approval) who signed with Steve Wraith just last month with the pair training at the Saunders camp in Fishburn, County Durham.

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(Above – Daniel Cope and Tom Whitfield will go again, this time for the Northern Area strap; Below – Neil Hepper makes his long awaited return)

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Steve said: “The attraction of fighting at St James’ has meant that my phones have been very active the past few weeks with lads asking their managers to get them on it.

“I realise that this will be a bumped bill and with Premier League facilities available to the them it’s a show not to be missed. The fans and the fighters will have some good opportunities on the day and I’m hoping this will be the first of many.

“The only disappointment is that, after conversations with Mal Gates and Peter Cope Snr we’ve sadly had to postpone the proposed Northern Area title fight between Lee Mould and Anth Hardy.

“We understand that things happen and what seems a great idea at the start of the year may not be six months later.”

Before then Steve and PBNG take a breather from the regional scene and head to SW London on July 16 for ‘Genesis’ in association with Joey Pyle and John Edwards.

With less than three weeks to go until fight night at the Recreation Centre the card has been nicely stacked and ticket sales are going well with all looking forward to a great night of professional boxing, and hopefully some top quality action.

Tickets for ‘Showdown @ St James’ will be available from fighters, and the PBNG  ticket-site in due course (standard available NOW)

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Showdown @ St James – Update

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The next Steve Wraith boxing promotion (in association with Sodexo) in the north-east is scheduled for early September and will be held in the Bamburgh Suite, St. James Park.

Headlined by not one, but two Northern Area title fights between Lee Mould and Anthony Hardy, and Tom Whitfield and Daniel Cope, the dinner show will have a plethora of local talent, including several of our own fighters for good measure.

At present however we are awaiting the release of the fixtures for Newcastle United in the Sky Bet Championship in late June, and subsequent TV airings, before the date we have in mind for this dinner show is confirmed.

Steve Wraith would like to thank his sponsors, and the fans, for their continued support on this boxing rollercoaster.

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Showdown @ St James – Part One

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On Tyneside a rising is brewing as promoter Steve Wraith takes professional boxing to the peak, and will, as of this upcoming late Autumnal nights, be promoting from the bowels of St. James Park, the home of Newcastle United.

Earlier this year it surfaced that Steve and his Wraith Promotions brands, were taking their events to the city centre in a big move which met with applause across the region and fighters clamouring to be on the upcoming showpiece.

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(From Camberwell, London, middleweight Mark Rowe, won on the last St. James Hall show in 1967, stopping Roger van Laere in the third round – he would become a British & Commonwealth champion)

As the build-up starts for that first show, the first since New St. James Hall hosted an event in May 1967 where both Mark Rowe and Larry Brown scored stoppage successes; and since September 1949 at the original St James Hall which saw a debut for Chester-Le-Street welterweight Jackie Keough (defeated visiting Leeds fighter Charlie Fawcett on points).

Now, moving forward nearly half a century, the ‘Showdown @ St James’ will see not one, but two Northern Area title fights take place as recently postponed bouts between Anthony Hardy vs. Lee Mould, and Tom Whitfield vs. Daniel Cope as Team Cope and Team Gates go head-to-head.

The latter bout will be an eagerly anticipated rematch after the pair clashed over six rounds at Rainton Meadows in March 2015, Whitfield (Gates) narrowly edged Cope (Cope Snr) in a tight decision.

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(Images courtesy of Gary Bivens Photography of the first clash between Whitfield and Cope at Rainton Meadows, March 2015)

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Keeping the matter in-cap so to speak, Whitfield and Cope will be joined by stable mates Lee Mould (Gates) and Anthony Hardy (Cope) respectively.

Mould has the greater experience at Championship having won the Area title himself against Craig Dixon in November 2014 and then going the distance for the English (welterweight) strap against Blackpool’s Adam Little seven months later, losing via unanimous decision.

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(Above, Lee Mould takes the fight to Craig Dixon; Below, Anthony Hardy celebrates another victory)

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Hardy meanwhile lost on a split when travelling to face Joe Hughes for the English (super lightweight) in July 2015 before suffering a shock first round stoppage in his last outing against Sam O’Maison in February for the British Challenge belt.

Both Tom Whitfield and Anthony Hardy have suffered, and are returning from recent injuries, we would like to wish them luck on their comeback trail and to all four title combatants later this year – it’s timeeeee!!!

Pro Boxing Newcastle Gateshead would also like to thank their sponsors, and the fans, for their continued support – long may it continue.

If you are interested in advertising and sponsorship opportunities around the upcoming ‘Showdown @ St James’ later this year see HERE