I’m Skanz and this is ‘The Lowdown.’
For this episode I thought I’d take a quick look back at what’s been happening on the boxing scene in the West Midlands since the start of 2018.
You, my fine feathered friend, are cordially invited to grab a drink, grab a comfy seat, sit back and join me.
The Midlands boxing scene has been absolutely buzzing this year, especially in the ring where there’s been so much happening that I’ve hardly been able to keep up.’
There’s been a bucketload of brilliant pro boxers duking it out at top notch events across the West Midlands on a regular, especially in Birmingham where no less than eight professional boxing fixtures have taken place so far this year.
Those eight shows represent half of the region’s total shows.
image : mac macreery
Birmingham has held the most boxing shows in the West Midlands region so far this year.
The other eight shows have been in Walsall which has had four, Dudley which has hosted two, Coventry and Willenhall.
Big up Birmingham!!!
HERE’s A COUPLE OF SMART LOOKING POSTERS FROM
THE BUZZING BRUMMIE BOXING SCENE
Barry McGuigan came to Birmingham in March
SKANZ’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!!!
Dudley has had two shows so far this year and Dudley born Danny Ball is the only boxer that’s fought at both shows, and against two very similar looking opponents in Gorman (7th April) and Little (7th July). Look at how identical his opponents were, even down to their boots.
When Dave Allen took on David Howe on the ‘Battle of the Baggies’ at Walsall Town Hall on 4th May something strange and confusing happened.
Take a look at these photos and see if you can work out what it was.
2018 Highs and Lows – So Far
The first half of 2018 has been eventful and we’ve seen some real highs and lows.
Let’s start with the lows.
Last year, on Saturday 14 October 2017 at Walsall Town Hall, Walsall’s Luke Paddock fought Derby’s Myron Mills for the IBF Youth Lightweight Title.
Sadly, during an altercation that started inside the event and spilled out onto the streets a young man, Reagan Asbury was stabbed and tragically died later from his injuries.
Several arrests followed and the trial continues but whilst we await the outcome there is a sad but plain truth that has to be spoken, and that is that there is no amount of effort to establish what happened and to serve justice accordingly that is going to bring that young man back.
What a sad and tragic way for a young life to end.
Also sadly, the media reports coming from the trial suggest that the event had been marred by a real sense of hostility amongst rival supporters which allegedly included some racist behaviour by some of Paddock’s supporters directed towards Mills and his followers.
This isn’t the 1920s.
If it’s true that that type of behaviour took place that night then hey, boxing is not about this.
Boxing’s about building better futures, not taking futures away.
The amount of people whose lives will never be the same again, and for all the wrong reasons since that tragic October night, doesn’t bear thinking about.
And my heart goes deeply deeply out to them.
Moving to the highs.
1. Welborn vs. Langford was a Classic!!
Walsall is still coming to terms with the sad incident of October 2017 that I talked about in the previous piece.
The court case is high profile and rightly so.
Boxing’s return to Walsall Town Hall has needed sensible and sensitive handling and thankfully I think we’ve seen plenty of that including increased security at the shows that have followed in March, April and May of this year.
And it looks like the joint efforts of those involved with trying to make sure that boxing hits the headlines for all the right reasons , have been rewarded because the Jason Welborn vs. Tommy Langford British Middleweight Title fight held at Walsall Town Hall on 4th May turned out to be an outright contender for Fight of the Year.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric and it was this classic encounter that laid the foundations for the rematch which will now take place on the Amir Khan vs. Samuel Vargas undercard at Arena Birmingham on 8th September.
And that, my friends
2. Vales’s First Win in 8 Was a Real Buzz
‘Highlight?’ You might ask but for me it was. I always enjoy seeing a fighter overcome the odds.
To be there to see Leamington born Myles Vale grab his first win at the eighth attempt was pretty inspirational and a personal highlight so it’s in the list.
For me Vale’s win at Villa Park shows how tough and how determined you have to be as a boxer but also reminds me that on any walk of life hard work does eventually pay off.
3. The emergence and success of Rachel Ball, Lauren Johnson and Kirstie Bavington spells out one thing for the West Midlands Boxing scene!!
We’re seeing an emergence of boxing talent from the females in the West Midlands region.
There’s been some success and some thrills to go with it along the way.
Willenhall’ s much loved Lauren Johnson looked like she was out on her feet at one point in the first round but somehow held out before bouncing back to win the Midlands Challenge Title in June.
Aldridge’s Rachel Ball is looking really good, especially in her last fight against Monika Antonik – and is about to go into her fourth fight with no defeats on her record.
And Wolverhampton’s former pro footballer turned pugilist Kirstie Bavington picked herself up from a disappointing debut draw in May to seal her first professional win when she beat Elaine Greenham at The Venue, Dudley in May.
I’m telling you, there is so much going on and so much more to look forward to.
I could go deeper but I need a lie down, so I’ll leave it at that for now and catch you next time.
Watch what you’re doing.