By John Hannen: Sunderland promoter Phil Jeffries is promising North East boxing fans that it’s 50-50 fights on his cards or nothing in the future, as he heads into his next ‘Pro Box North East’ show at the Rainton Meadows Arena on October 19.
True to his word, Jeffries, father of former Olympian Tony, has put together a top line-up for the Arena show, including a cracking North East derby title fight between Sunderland’s Kirk Goodings (pictured) and Middlesbrough’s Paul Truscott, as well as Martin Ward boxing for the Commonwealth bantamweight crown.
“I don’t want to see fights where you know the outcome before the first bell and nor do the fans,” explained Jeffries. “So any boxers on my shows will have to be in competitive bouts or go and fight on someone else’s.
“This Northern Area title fight between Kirk and Paul is a really close fight. I’ve spoken to plenty of people in the game and no one can choose between them and the fans are in for a terrific fight. The fact that it’s between two North East fighters just gives it that extra edge too.
“Martin Ward is a great talent, very skilful and we still believe in him up here after his defeat to Lee Haskins for the British title. He’s got a tough test in Ghana’s Gabriel Odoi Laryea who has only lost two of 20 fights. He’s a big puncher and has knocked out 11 opponents, so Martin will really have to be on top form if he is to start on the road back to the British title again.
“Let’s be honest, it’s not so long ago that these fights and this show would’ve been on TV, and these are the sort of matches that I want to make in the future.”
The rest of the Rainton Meadows card will feature some of the best unbeaten fighters from the region including Easington’s Paul Archer; South Shields’ Anthony Nelson; Sunderland’s Jonson McClumpha; Hartlepool’s Callum Winton and Mick Hadfield, and Horden’sAnthony Hardy. Also appearing will be Edinburgh’s John McCallum.