Williams wins but the Quartermaine event is certainly worth the wait

Lewis Williams and Rob Squires tower over the referee ahead of their contest at the Assembly. Picture submitted
Lewis Williams and Rob Squires tower over the referee ahead of their contest at the Assembly. Picture submitted

Danny Quartermaine provided a vocal Assembly crowd with a rousing finale to Saturday’s Cleary’s ABC show.

An evening which had started with three subdued skills bouts stepped up a notch after the interval with Lewis Williams’ split-decision victory over former youth heavyweight champion Rob Squires (Barnstaple ABC) setting the scene for a mouthwatering match-up between Quartemaine and the experienced Mason Smith (Finchley ABC).

Former junior ABA finalist Smith, 19, boasted an 88-fight record and was clearly unfazed by the partisan home crowd, playing up to his role of pantomime villain by constantly complaining to the referee about his opponent’s tactics.

However, Quartermaine remained focused on the task in hand, subjecting Smith to some frenzied assaults and preventing the Finchley fighter from boxing at range.

A headbutt from the frustrated Smith was missed by the referee and only serve to crank the atmosphere up a notch, playing into Quartermaine’s hands as he dominated the second round.

A standing count for Smith gave Quartermaine some breathing space and he went on to close out the contest in fine style, with several combinations landing in the third against the outgunned but still-smiling Smith.

While Williams and Quartermaine ensured the evening ended on a high note for Cleary’s, their victories were to provide the host club’s only success.

However, a much-improved Hargobind Nijjar can take heart from his performance in defeat to Coventry Boys’ Zuned Patel.

In an excellent contest at 48kg, the two youngsters stood and traded blows in the centre of the ring for the full three rounds , with Nijjar’s accurate single shots losing out in the final analysis to the busier Patel.

Nijjar’s disappointment at the decision was clear to see but on another day the verdict could easily have gone in his favour.

Cleary’s ABC’s Bella Madden and Morgan Ansell both suffered points defeats.

Ansell allowed Willenhall’s Paris Williams to dominate the centre of the ring and despite the quality coming from the Cleary’s fighter, it was the industrious Williams who got the nod.

Madden also found herself on the back foot against the highly rated Lucy Murphy (Finchley ABC).

Murphy, once a real prospect for Rio in 2016, was relentless in her pursuit of Madden who struggled to contain her compact opponent.

Madden did edge the first round, but Murphy’s bustling style did not give her a moment’s peace and she was well-beaten by the final bell.

In the earlier skills bouts, Ragan Hayer fought fellow Cleary’s boxer Tyler Kendall before Jeevan Hayer and stablemate Jordan Kendall played out a tentive encounter.

Norbu Sunany-Joiet then produced a stylish display in his skills contest against Atherstone’s James Wilson.