WEYMOUTH ABC’s fabulous five all picked up victories in an incredible night of boxing at the Pavilion.
Backed by huge support from a packed house, hometown boxers Jack Barlow, Chloe Le Page, Fabian Peterkin, Toby Osmond and Dan Hearn-shaw all produced magnificent performances to steal the limelight on an evening that also saw Leon Fowler and Ashley Phelps display huge promise in their skills bouts.
Fowler was the first Weymouth asset to enter the ring on the 15-bout card but he showed no signs of nerves.
The 13-year-old locked horns with Southampton’s William Neal and was soon on the front foot, landing some solid shots to the head.
Neal then picked up the pace in the second round before both teenagers went toe-to-toe in the third with their efforts being applauded all the way by an appreciative crowd.
There are no winners in skills bouts but both lads showed great potential and deserved all the plaudits they received at the final bell.
Phelps, aged 12, also excelled against another Southampton member in Lewis Kimber.
This was the Weymouth youngster’s first appearance in a boxing ring but it didn’t show as his good footwork and solid defence saw him catch his opponent with straight shots to the head and body.
Phelps also never tired in the clash and like Fowler looks a very bright prospect for the future.
Barlow was up next against Salisbury’s Martin Castle and the home boxer’s methodical approach soon paid dividends.
The 14-year-old skirted around the outside in the early exchanges, catching his opponent with some solid lefts and rights, before upping the intensity in the second where he hardly wasted a punch behind his solid jab.
Castle was more than holding his own though and it all came down to an explosive last round.
Barlow landed some fine combinations while Castle produced some solid straight shots but it was the former that eventually got the verdict after what had been a very close encounter.
It was already looking a great night for Weymouth and the momentum continued with Le Page running out a unanimous winner against Chloe Toombs of Team Wiseman.
Le Page, also 14, attacked from the outset and controlled the bout throughout, with her lightning combinations putting Toombs on the back foot for the majority of the contest.
Toombs did well to test Le Page as the action went on but in the end the latter’s determination and fitness proved just too much.
Inspired by earlier events, it was then time for Peterkin to show off his skills in a rematch against Sturmin-ster Newton’s Toby Davies.
Having beaten Davies just two weeks earlier, Peterkin looked full of confidence but the first round was evenly matched with neither boxer giving an inch.
The home fighter soon realised he needed to up the pace and that is exactly what he did in the second as he ran through his entire arsenal to leave his opponent stunned.
Sensing the opportunity, Peterkin then produced some classy combinations before sending Davies to the canvas following a couple of body shots.
The Stur boxer showed great fight to get back to his feet but the referee chose to halt the contest, handing Peterkin the only stoppage of the night.
The sixth home boxer to enter the ring was Osmond who took on Cranborne’s Anthony Coles – a boxer almost twice his age.
It turned out to be an intriguing spectacle with Coles looking to attack from the outset while Osmond countered with some classy combinations.
Osmond’s fast hands were extremely impressive but Coles stood up to them well and soon fought back with a right over the top as his opponent’s left began to fall too low.
The third and fourth rounds continued to be close but Osmond’s clean and accurate punching just kept him in front as he gained a very close majority decision.
Hearnshaw completed the Wey-mouth line-up with another hard-fought victory over Sturminster Newton’s Steve Perry.
Both men matched each other throughout but Hearnshaw continued to be the one on the front foot, pushing his opponent on to the ropes and landing lefts and rights to the head.
Perry replied with some heavy shots of his own as the contest went on but Hearnshaw countered with some excellent combinations to eventually hold on for the narrowest of victories.
At the end of the night, Jeannie Nelmes presented the Gordon Nelmes Shield for the best Dorset achiever to Toby Osmond while Peterkin received the best Weymouth winner award from councillor Pamela Nixon.
Weymouth ABC president David Nelmes said: “The standard of the boxing was very high and all the credit goes to all the clubs and their coaches.
“I would also like to say many thanks to our supporters and sponsors on the night for making it such a successful event, which enables us to help the youngsters of the borough.
“Another thanks must go to Clipper Teas of Beaminster and Fiona from Sunflower for the lovely arrangement of flowers for the auction.”