‘Judgement Day’ was JE Promotions’ fifth event at the Mote Park venue in Maidstone on October 7 and one that will live long in fight fans’ memories who were lucky enough to be in attendance.
The action-packed show was stolen by heavyweights Dave Jones (8-0-1) and Dorian Darch (12-5-1) as the pair went at it hammer and tongs in a spectacular six-rounds of frenzied, hard-hitting action, complete with knockdowns and point deductions, culminating in a hard-fought draw.
Jones, 35-years-old from Queenborough, was the home fighter on the night with the Welshman travelling in from Aberdare.
The fight was a dramatic showdown that had everything included in it. It was toe-to-toe action from the opening bell, Darch started the rounds quicker than Jones, but the Kent man always finished stronger, clearly possessing the better engine of the pair.
Jones hit the deck for the first time in his career in the second-round, courtesy of an overhand right from Darch. Then, in the next round, Jones could have evened the score when he caught Darch with a cracking body shot and almost forced him to take a knee but he stepped off in confusion, looking at the referee, and then the time had passed for his grateful opponent to have made a full recovery.
Darch nullified his earlier knockdown when he had a point deducted for repeated warnings for holding and low blows.
The stalemate was a career-first for each fighter in the ring – Jones remains unbeaten in nine bouts and Darch has just one defeat in his last six outings.
The Welshman had previously beaten a Midlands and Southern Area champion in his career, as well as sharing the ring with Hughie Fury and Anthony Joshua in back-to-back fights.
For the Kent puncher, it was his first step-up in class after taken on mostly journeymen with losing records, albeit good guys that have been around and know their stuff. In his third pro bout, back in 2015, Jones beat former Midlands Area heavyweight champion Paul Butlin, who has since retired from the sport.
Post-fight, he respectfully said, “That is why I do this sport, what a tough fight! Got a draw, which I think was a fair result, we both give everything we had and, by the sounds of it, everyone loved it!”
Manager Joe Elfidh praised both combatants and mentioned that a rematch could be on the cards.
The headlining fight saw unbeaten super-featherweight Charlie Shane move up to 5-0 and claim the British Challenge super-middleweight belt by defeating 59-fight veteran Lewis van Poetsch (6-52-1) by two points in their eight-round contest.
The southpaw had a tough time against “Poochi”, an experienced pro who has fought for the Challenge belt previously – in September last year he was edged by Paul Hilz in their super-middleweight International Challenge contest, again, by just two points.
The 26-year-old super-middleweight from Chatham aims to have another couple of learning fights with new trainer, Charlie Rumbol, before moving up to bigger title fights.
He said of his performance, “He came to win, he was tough, it was a real good, tough fight and I enjoyed it. I know I won the fight because I hit him with the cleaner shots and his were just pitty-patty.
“I could’ve made the fight easier for myself but I’ve learnt loads from it and I only had a baby two days before so it became a double celebration!
“Gonna’ have a couple more six-rounders to keep on developing and then hopefully go for a big title fight soon.”
Southern Area middleweight titleholder Grant Dennis (10-0) won the battle of the Area champions when he defeated Central Area titlist Darryl Sharp (5-21) on points.
Dennis said, “It was a routine win for me. I know that Darryl has never been stopped before so I used my movement and skills, and my fast hands.”
Manager Joe Elfidh said they are hoping for the English title shot next, which is due to be contested between Mick Hall and Elliot Matthews before the end of 2017.
Former Team GB boxer Luke Gibb (3-0) stepped up to six-rounds in just his third pro bout against Fonz Alexander (5-64), winning comfortably on points, displaying an array of flashy combinations and switch-hitting.
“Gibbo” was lively and energetic, switching stance this way and that, peppering in shots from all different angles, and thoroughly deserving the 60-55 scoring.
He described the fight as a “good test”.
Two-time Southern Area challenger, Martin Hillman (10-4), 26, secured his 10th professional win in his 14th pro contest against Michael Barnor (14-15-3).
Both featherweights were on the receiving end of some heavy blows but the Sidcup man prevailed over the 32-year-old Ghanaian 59-56.
Unbeaten super-featherweight Chris Matthews (8-0) marches on unbeaten with a points win over 23-year-old Londoner, Jules Phillips (1-8).
Chelmsford’s 30-year-old featherweight Tom McGinley (4-1) improved his record with a first-round stoppage after flooring debutant Kieran Homan (0-1) with a huge left hook to the temple in the opener.
It was hard lesson for the debutant to learn on his pro bow, but he can take inspiration from his conqueror, who also conceded on his debut, but has gone from strength to strength since.
English super-bantamweight champion Josh Kennedy (9-0) didn’t fight as planned, he was due to perform in his home county for the first time in his three-year career, but his opponent withdrew at the last-minute.
The next show at Mote Park is already scheduled for February 24th.
For tickets to the next show, visit https://www.facebook.com/JEsportsnetwork/ or call 07883 943994