Groundbreaking county show is a hit

Hampshire and Isle of Wight boxers put on a fine show. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121670-459)
Hampshire and Isle of Wight boxers put on a fine show. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121670-459)
Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Hampshire’s all-female show proved a roaring success as it broke new ground in bumper style.

The event, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, took place on Sunday as a whopping 17 contests were staged.

Clubs travelled from around Britain to take part in the event staged at Gosport.

And those who turned out to watch the action unfold weren’t disappointed.

Ted Harris Boxing Academy’s Shannay Bennett led the way, along with Heart of Portsmouth’s Tilly Evans, as the duo both recorded fine wins.

But they were backed with a string of impressive and gutsy performances from the rest of the Hampshire squad.

Bennett was too good for Tredegar Courtney Richards as they met at 53kg.

And Evans shone as she took on Cwmcarn’s Katy Tinklin at 51kg and delivered an entertaining win.

Gosport’s Kiera Thomson showed why she is a bright hope for the future in her 39kg skills bout, with Sweet Science’s Sophie Abraham.

Zoe Young put on a battling effort as she went down to a close points loss to Sophie Tinklin at 50kg in a crowd-pleasing contest.

Debut-making mother of five Miri Halford showed bravery in her display with Royal Engineers Sheree Ali, before going down to a final-round loss.

Injury forced a retirement for Gosport’s Holly Keats as she shone, before a lump under the eye brought a close to her clash with Islington’s Stephanie Fernand.

Ryde’s Zia Green showed her spirit in going down fighting to Pool of Life’s Katie Smith.

Donna Burdett suffered defeat to Finchley’s Eleanor Ivanova at 62kg. But HOP’s Monnie Fard got the crowd on her feet in a 67kg thriller with Royal Engineers’ Lyn Calder but saw the verdict go narrowly against her.

Gosport and Hampshire coach Amanda Holloway believes the event has a bright future.

She said: ‘People came from all over the country and the boxing was really impressive.

‘We think this can be the start of something.

‘To be honest, we didn’t expect it to go as well as it did.

‘Kiera looks like one for the future and Shannay showed she’s a strong girl.

‘Tilly looked really good, Zoe was in a cracking bout and Miri had a really good contest.

‘Holly was pulled out because of a lump under her eye which was unfortunate and Donna had a defeat but she will come again.

‘Zia is a warrior and showed that and Monnie really entertained the crowd.

‘It definitely looks like something we can do every year.’

Hampshire coach Darren Blair believes seeing 17 bouts staged was a cause for celebration.

He said: ‘You don’t get every bout made taking place very often. Amanda did a really good job putting on the show for the girls.’