Doncaster’s Kyle Fox (6-0) landed the British Challenge belt in the first ever title fight staged at the North Notts Arena on June 30 with a landslide points win over Islington’s Jordan Grannum (3-27).
JE Promotions’ eighth event at the Arena, titled ‘Hope & Glory’ in association with Scott Calow Boxing, made history as the first title fight in the Nottinghamshire town of Worksop.
Headliner Fox won every round against the Londoner to lift the British Challenge belt and plans to move on to Central Area title honours next.
The 24-year-old, trained by Michael White at the Fighting Fit Gym in Dinnington, was subjected to a last-minute opponent change when former Dutch national champion Innocent Anwanyu (25-34-3) didn’t get on the plane from the Netherlands and caused promoter Joe Elfidh to find an 11th hour replacement.
25-year-old Grannum stepped in saved the show but was up against a far superior operator in the former Yorkshire amateur champion who stuck to his game plan and boxed clinically to take every round en route to his sixth straight victory.
He said, “I’ve told my management team from start that I only want tough fights, I don’t like easy fights because the better the opponent, the better I perform. I've moved up to eight-rounds now and it would be great if my team could get me the Central Area title fight at the Doncaster Dome this year.”
The Central Area welterweight title was last held by Liverpudlian Adam Ismail (10-2) but is currently vacant.
Promoter Joe Elfidh plans to host his next event in Doncaster in November with both Kyle Fox and Mark Bennett in headlining title fights.
Heavyweight Mark Bennett (2-0) made a big statement as he doubled his win tally with a blistering second-round stoppage of Welshman Dorian Darch (12-7-1).
The Doncaster puncher took just four-and-a-half minutes to dispatch of the 34-year-old from Aberdare despite his vaster ring experience. The performance took just a few seconds longer than unified world champion Anthony Joshua and the new English heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois managed when they both finished Darch in 51 seconds into the second-round of their respective meetings.
The Welshman came out of the corner all guns blazing and the opening round was an exciting heavyweight battle that lifted fight fans out of their seats. The home fighter stamped his authority early on in the fight and ended matters midway through the second-round with heavy flurries that Darch couldn’t find an answer for.
‘Bad News’ Bennett only begun boxing at the advanced age of 27 but quickly rose through the unlicensed ranks to win titles.
He made his successful transition from the unlicensed scene last November against Hungarian Ferenc Zsalek (21-62-6) on points, but picked up an unfortunate injury that kept him on the side-lines since.
The 31-year-old from Edlington, who describes himself as an explosive puncher, stated from the very start of his pro career that he planned to reach the top-10 in the heacyweight division as soon as possible and looks all set to live up to his promise.
Manager Joe Elfidh commented on his heavyweight charge, “It was a big risk putting him in with Dorian Darch, who beat English title contender Tom Little, but we had confidence in Mark and he really made a statement with that win there.
“The heavyweight division is thriving at the moment and we will look to get Mark a Central Area title shot next. He only wants hard fights, he’s not interested in fighting journeymen. He’s a throwback, he doesn’t want to protect his record, he wants a hard fight after eight weeks of training.”
Birmingham’s Kash Ali (12-0) is the current Central Area heavyweight champion, winning the vacant strap last March with a second-round knockout of two-time challenger David Howe (14-7).
Despite only experiencing six professional rounds, the quality of his last opponent could provide the 30-year-old as a credible contender for the Central Area title this year.
Worksop’s newest boxing hero Dylan Clegg (1-0) also made a statement as he finished his Bulgarian opponent Tsvetozar Iliev (6-24-1) in the fourth and final round of his pro bow.
The popular super-middleweight was roared on by a 200-strong crowd of supporters. Trainer Michael White likened the youngster, who experienced 25 amateur fights, to a young Carl Froch.
Scunthorpe’s ‘Kid Nytro’ Dec Spelman (12-1), 26, returned to the ring for the first time since his ill-fated fight with Scott Westgarth in February, who collapsed in the dressing room and tragically died in hospital.
Spelman looked sharp and fit as he bounced back from his sole career loss with a 40-35 points win over Czech light-heavyweight champion Jindrich Velecky (19-54).
Super-lightweight prospect Sonny Price moved up to 4-0 with a 40-36 points win against 297-fight veteran Kristian Laight (12-276-9).
The seven-time Yorkshire amateur champion hasn’t put a foot wrong in his paid career, winning all 16 professional rounds so far against Jamie Quinn (3-47-2); Youseff Al Hamidi (14-117-3); Ibrar Riyaz (6-135-4); and latest victim ‘Mr Reliable’.
The 21-year-old super-lightweight from Swallownest spent 10 years in the amateurs, racking up over 50 fights and now has ambitions to become a British champion.
Langold’s Luke Middleton kicked off his pro career with a debut win against Hyde’s Dale Arrowsmith (1-17-1).
Trained by Nick Staff at the Fighting fit Gym, the middleweight turned over after experiencing just 15 amateur fights, but plans to fight away next.