Gym 01 coach’s pride after another highly competitive Shock N Awe Contenders card

Jon Kill, right, on his way to victory over Luca Cappalonga. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Jon Kill, right, on his way to victory over Luca Cappalonga. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Gareth Johnson told of his pride after another highly competitive Shock N Awe card.

Thirty promising prospects from across gyms in the south fought on the Contenders IV card at Southsea’s Pyramids Centre.

Chantelle Knight on her way to victory over Harli-Lee Etheridge. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Chantelle Knight on her way to victory over Harli-Lee Etheridge. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

The event consisted of 11 amateur kickboxing bouts, one pro contest and three amateur mixed martial arts battles. 

There were a number of charges representing Fratton’s Gym 01, while talents from the likes of Isle of Wight’s Vectis MMA, Chichester’s Mad Hatters and Guildford’s Mavericks were on show.

The match-making again proved key, with 12 of the 15 bouts going to the judges’ scorecards.

And Johnson was delighted how close the contests were.

The Shock N Awe promoter said: ‘We had a couple of pull outs in the build up but still managed to put on 15 fights, which is pretty much double the amount of anyone’s full-level show.

‘So we were really happy with it and with all of the decisions.

‘No matter how well I match make, you can have the most honest talk with an opposite coach but always in the back of my head I’m thinking “Have I matched them fairly?”

‘We match with some top gyms and their honest opinion may not be as honest as mine.

‘I’m not saying anyone lies and all the gyms go off a level system, but even still in the back of my head I’m a bit worried.

‘I don’t want people to get hurt – that’s paramount and I don’t want them to be put off the sport for life.

‘We had 12 decisions out of 15 – three of those were split decisions – and that’s a pretty well-matched card so I was happy with that.

‘It puts my mind at ease that I’m doing the right thing by everyone and everybody – win, lose or draw – walked away having enjoyed it.

‘That’s all we ever strive to do and why we created Shock N Awe.’

Gym 01 picked up five victories, with Zoe Bowes, Harry Dudman, Jon Kill, Chantelle Knight and Rafal Stempin having their arms raised. 

Charlie Riccard, Emmeline Jones, Jack Barton, Charlie Bowes, Mike Palmer, William Hope were on the wrong side of decision defeats. 

Dudman, Kill and Hope all train with the University of Portsmouth team at the Fratton base.

And Johnson saluted the progress they’ve made. 

Gym 01’s head coach added: ‘It was a mixed bag for us. I had three guys previously or currently part of the University of Portsmouth team on the show.

‘Harry Dudman and Jon Kill had fought previously and have made massive improvements in their skill level.

‘I was really proud of them and there’s no better feeling as a coach. 

‘The new lad who recently fought, William Hope, lost a decision but had a great fight.

‘It was nice to see them progress and develop and I hope they don’t get sucked back into uni lift now.’