Senior Novice warm-up brings a victory for Faisal on South Normanton's show
ABA Senior Novice hopefuls Dinesh Puri and Faisal Ali took the chance to get some competitive action before this weekend's quarter-finals in Manchester.
The pair, who have had byes all the way through so far in the Novices, were matched at bantamweight on South Normanton School of Boxing's show at the Post Mill Centre and it was Merlin's Ali who took a split decision, though that seemed a touch harsh on the host club boxer.
Lee Harrison (Royal Oak) and Jake Harrison (Trinity) will also box in the Novices quarter-finals on Sunday.
Asif Akhtar completed a double for Merlin at lightweight, looking to keep Ashley Greaves of South Normanton at long range through the first two rounds and landing punishing shots in the third to take a unanimous decision.
The bout was named the best of the night.
Welterweight Ryan Fields won the Fred Taylor Cup as the best South Normanton senior boxer of the night even though he was unanimously beaten by Jack Langford (Sheffield City).
It was a long-awaited return for Fields, who lost to Langford on the 2006 Schools ABA final, but he paid for pulling back and easing the pressure on his opponent when he was on top in the first two rounds and left himself too much to do in the last.
Fields will not have to wait as long for the chance of revenge this time – the pair are due to meet again tomorrow.
A clash of two southpaws at lightweight saw Joe Kell beat Adam Sircar (Buxton) on a unanimous verdict as, after three tight rounds, he gave his man a count early in the fourth by landing a solid left hook and did not let his advantage slip.
Daniel Sansom made his senior debut at welterweight against the man who put him out of this season's NABCs, Jordan Cameron of Kirkby in Ashfield, and although he made most of the running throughout, the split decision went against him.
Tom Cowling made his first appearance since his NABC exit and did enough in a skilful first two rounds against Sheffield Lane Top's Mujahid Najib to hold off his opponent's late rally and take a majority win.
He was also the inaugural winner of the Post Mill Trophy for the best home junior boxer of the night.
After two even rounds against Ryan Talwar (Aston), Danny Elliott pushed on for a majority victory in the last but Joe Welch was a winner for the Birmingham club against Liam Sircar (Buxton).
Charlie Pearson produced the better quality against the hard-working Billy Gibson (Bridlington CYP) and took a unanimous verdict, while Cole Langham took a count in the last and that maybe tipped a unanimous decision to Tyler Holland (Newark).
Harry Binch wasted no time getting in his first skills bout as he took on Declan Durrans (Pro-Fitness) on the first day he was eligible to step into the ring – his 10th birthday.