11th January 2009
Our year started off a little later than normal when in March we did our first ever co promotion, a junior interclub and tournament at the Wolfslair gym in Widnes. We had nine juniors on this show, three fighting for titles. There were wins for Bradley Turner, Zac Jones, Kyle and Conlan Teale, Amy Done picked up a Northern Area title and Becky Aldersley picked up an English Title, Matt bell got a draw against a very awkward opponent. There was disappointment for Jack Hancock and Luke Phillips who lost their bouts.
Next up was our adult senior fighter Andy Thrasher on 29th March when he faced Phil Pullen in an A class fight in Wythenshaw. This was a toe to toe battle which many people have described as one of the best domestic fights they have seen in this country. Andy had Phil down for an eight count during the fight and this helped him to a unanimous points victory.
The juniors where next out when we entered the British Open junior Championships in Birmingham in April. We took Amy Done, Zac Jones, Kyle and Conlan Teale, Georgina Greenwood, Becky Aldersely and Matthew Bell. Luke Phillips went along to help corner for the other kids. First to be disappointed was Amy Done who couldn’t get a single match! Zac Jones and Kyle Teale both went out in the first round matches to the eventual winners of their categories. Becky and Georgina both went straight through to the final of their categories, Becky lost out to home town favourite Kyhe Chamberlain and Georgina increased her impressive winning streak from the previous year when she won every round of her final. Matt Bell won his semi final and then had to do an extra round in his final before winning the British Title. Conlan had to fight four times on the day before he also claimed his British title. Luke Phillips had come just to watch but decided to have a go. Despite having to give away more than half a stone in both his quarter and semi finals, he won them both convincingly. In the final his opponent refused to fight him and he was crowned British Champion, making it four British titles on the day for the gym.
Andy Thrasher was next out, fighting in Scotland against the Scottish Commonwealth Champion Rab Burt in a none title contest. Despite being by far the stronger fighter Andy made hard work of this as he was nursing an injury and looking to fight again just three weeks later. Another eight count in the last round however made sure Andy was again a unanimous points victor.
Our annual Show followed in May at the Heywood Civic Centre. There was again disappointment for Becky Aldersley who had a rematch with the only girl to beat her, Kyhe Chamberlain. This time Kyhe came in a lot heavier but we still took the fight. Becky hurt Kyhe with a kick early on and Kyhe knew she couldn’t stand and trade with Becky so she played a very clever spoiling game and took the points victory. Jason Jacques also came off second best despite a good start against the more experienced Ian Robinson. Conlan Teale won a convincing point victory against the previously unbeaten Kailan Laithwaite, with brother Kyle again winning. Matt bell turned in a superb performance beating Harry Hamblin, and there where wins for Mike Williams and Luke O’Shaughnessy.
Andy Thrasher then had what turned out to be his last fight of the year when he went to Tenerife to fight the Spanish champion. Andy turned in one of his best performances when he had the lad down for four eight counts before knocking him out in the third round.
We then had what seemed a very long break before our juniors where out again in September on a TMAS show in St. Helens. We had five juniors on this show, Luke Phillips won his second British Title of the year, beating home boy Bryan Collins convincingly. Wins for Matt Bell, Conlan Teale and Jack Hancock also followed. Star of the day was Bradley Turner who after winning his bout was half way through getting changed when he was asked if he would fight again. After some deliberation and several “changes of mind” Bradley agreed and again went out to win another convincing points victory.
The last event of the year was our second joint promotion, a massive four part event in November at the Monaco Ballroom. We had four juniors on during the day Mathew Schofield lost his debut match, Bradley Turner had to give away weight, age and experience, he had a hard fight loosing on points. Kyle Teale turned perhaps the performance of the day giving away weight but winning every round against a more exp lad. Conlan Teale had the best fight of the day when he fought Conner Butler, a superb fight that passed backward and forwards with the best result a draw at the end of it. The evening show saw John Bakewell make his debut for GFC winning on points, Michael Howarth finally taking a step into the ring, again winning on points and Luke O’Shaughnessy had his second fight and turned in a vastly improved performance when he knocked out his opponent in the third round.
All in all this was a good year for us, it started of busy but we went a little quite to the end. This was due mainly to choosing to only support shows where we felt we would be judged under correct scoring criteria. Even though we won all out bouts at the TMAS show, we had to arrange for judges on the day. Even if it means we don’t get as many fights I am determined that this is the way forward.
The year’s total fights for us is 45 fights, 34 wins, 2 draws and nine loses, a better winning percentage than last year. Luke Phillips became the first person from our gym to hold three British Titles and Conlan Teale turned in the most successful year with no less than eight fights seven wins and one draw.
We have some promising looking young adults hoping to make their debut next year and more impressive juniors hoping to join the ranks of our very successful junior team. Next year will again be another successful one for GFC.