Golden display from 13-year-old Finch lights up Cleary’s Assembly show

Josh Finch is sent back to the neutral corner ahead of a second standing count for Derby City's Rattu Singh. Picture: Morris Troughton
Josh Finch is sent back to the neutral corner ahead of a second standing count for Derby City's Rattu Singh. Picture: Morris Troughton
  • Finch gives notice of potential with devastating performance
  • Quartermaine suffers defeat against classy European champion
  • Points victories for Williams and Cole

Josh Finch provided the stand-out performance on a high-quality card of boxing at the Assembly in Leamington on Saturday evening.

The 13-year-old Cleary’s Boxing Gym fighter stopped Derby City ABC’s Rattu Singh in the second round of their contest after punishing combinations had twice subjected his opponent to standing counts.

Morgan Ensell battles it out with Lauren Smith.

Morgan Ensell battles it out with Lauren Smith.

It was a performance which belied the youngster’s inexperience and, along with his brother Jake, coach Edwin Cleary believes the gym may have unearthed something special.

“I’m expecting massive things from Josh,” said Cleary.

“Weve got a great group and with Josh and his brother Jake I think we have two boxers who will really push Danny Quartermaine and Lewis Williams on.

“Coach Jamie Bannister calls them the golden generation and he’s probably right.”

Quartermaine continued his steep learning curve by going in with European champion Ryan Garner (Southampton).

And, despite suffering a points defeat, Cleary said Quartermaine can be proud of the progress he has made.

“Garner’s a top kid, you could see that.

“He’s travelled all over the world to fight.

“Danny’s only in his third season, but he’s already gone from a novice to fighting against an international gold medallist.

“He’ll be in the seniors in June and I’m looking forward to seeing him fighting without a head guard.”

Garner showed the skills which have seen him talked about as a future Olympic prospect, with the 17-year-old happy to mix it with Quartermaine in the opening round before taking control over rounds two and three.

A bloodied nose and two black eyes hampered Quartermaine but there was no denying Garner’s greater experience and ring craft.

Quartermaine’s defeat rounded off the ten-card fight, but there was plenty of home success for Cleary’s preceding it.

For once, the 6ft 4in Lewis Williams was not having to stoop to land blows, with the towering Mehran Khan from Hamer ABC providing a game opponent.

A superb shot in the opening round from Williams gave Khan a standing eight count and the Cleary’s boxer went on to clinch on a unanimous decision.

Mike Cole’s contest against Birmingham City’s Connor Tierney was a much tighter affair, with the Cleary’s boxer getting the nod on a split decision.

Giving away 3kg to his opponent, Cole looked to be behind after the first two rounds.

However, a more aggressive approach in the third saw him rock Tierney, who was giving two standing counts, the second after a ferocious body punch.

Three Cleary’s Boxing Gym fighters were in skills action.

At 37kg, Jeevan Hayer held his own against the stylish Dhirren Kumar (Bell Green), while Morgan Ensell’s clash with Lauren Smith (Exhall ABC) was a full-blooded affair which saw both fighters land with accurate shots.

Harry McKay’s skills debut put him up against the rangy Will Ashton from Burslem ABC, who despite landing with some powerful combinations, failed to rock his much more inexperienced opponent.

Leamington’s Mike Hazelwood, fighting for Nottingham University, produced a fine last round to gain a split decision over Jordan Brierley (Chadd ABC), with Jai Rai picking up a points win over Thomas Bell in a scrappy contest.