Karl Ince hailed his ‘Magnificent Seven’ after a hugely successful boxing evening at the Guild Hall on Saturday.
he renowned Preston trainer – who owns a professional boxing gym in the city – enjoyed a clean sweep as every single one of his fighters emerged victorious.
It was the first time in a number of years the iconic venue has staged the sport and the action did not disappoint in front of a raucous audience.
Ince, who was instrumental in organising the event, said: “I’d like to thank everyone for coming – it was a really good night. All seven of my lads won their fights, which I was really proud about.”
Top of the bill was 21-year-old middleweight Ricky Skelton, who hails from Penrith but lives in Preston.
He outpointed veteran Bradley Pryce with an excellent display.
Preston’s very own middleweight star Mick Hall bounced back from his first professional loss a couple of weeks earlier in the Prizefighter at Blackpool, to beat Dan Blackwell over four rounds.
“Ricky boxed fantastic,” Ince said. “He’s one to watch and is a real up-and-coming star.
“Mick found it hard to get going after the Prizefighter. It was a very hard fight against Dan but he got it back in the second and third rounds and got the win.” While Skelton and Hall impressed, so too did Blackburn’s Kurt Grieve, who claimed the British Masters Bronze welterweight title by beating Chris Jenkinson over eight rounds.
“It was a bit of a chess game between Kurt and Chris,” said Ince. “They both got some clean shots off.
“Kurt managed to win the fight, which was brilliant. I’m really proud of him.”
Ince, meanwhile, paid tribute to Southport veteran welterweight Scott Moonan, who has decided to retire from the sport.
The 32-year-old signed off in style by beating Lithuania’s Arvydas Trizno at the Guild Hall.
“Scott has retired after Saturday,” said Ince.
“He’s got commitments –he’s only been boxing professionally two or three years and has done really well.”
In contrast to Moonan, young 18-year-old Morgan Jackson is at the every start of his career and he recorded his second pro victory in the middleweight division by outpointing Dee Mitchell.
“Young Morgan’s just a little bully,” Ince said.
The trainer’s final two boxers – middleweight Rick Godding and light-heavyweight Tomi Tatham – also impressed.
Godding made it 21 fights unbeaten as he performed brilliantly on his first appearance in the ring for nearly two years after injury. He outclassed Robert Studzinski, wi nning all four rounds.
Ince said: “Rick’s been out injured for two years, but it was like he’d never been away. He boxed absolutely superbly and he’ll be fighting for titles at the end of this year.”
Lancaster’s Tatham handed out some hefty blows and sustained a suspected broken hand during his bout.
Despite the injury, he had too much for Elvis Dube – an opponent he knocked out the last time they met – over six rounds.
“Every shot from Tomi is a hammer,” said Ince. “His opponent took some shots.”
After the success of Saturday’s event, Ince is hopeful that more shows will be staged at the Guild Hall this year and beyond.
He thanked his sponsors and also the venue’s owner Simon Rigby for their support
“I am hoping to get two or three more shows on this year,” Ince said.
“I’d like to thank Simon Rigby for letting us have the show there.”
The event was sponsored by Builders Supplies (West Coast) Ltd, Peter Marquis Contractors and Plant Hire Ltd and Tommy Gallagher Ltd.
There is no rest for Ince this Saturday as another of his men is in action. Colne welterweight Shayne Singleton takes on Sam Eggington at the Ice Arena, Hull, for the WBC International silver belt.