Black Country Boxing returned to Birmingham’s Eastside Rooms on Friday with another action-packed night of professional boxing. The main event saw a domestic light-heavyweight clash between West Bromwich’s Josh Stokes and experienced journeyman Harry Matthews of Beverley, the former a comfortable winner on the cards after a fast-paced four rounds. Stokes boxed well throughout the contest and appeared to score a knockdown after a punishing right to the body, but the referee ordered the fight to continue without administering a count. There’s no doubt that Matthews was wounded from thereon however and was not enjoying Stokes’ work downstairs, the victor revealing to BBTV post-fight that a particular focus in the gym had been to focus on the body rather than head-hunting upstairs, practise which looked to be paying off in the final stanza on Friday’s show. Stokes now moves to 7-0-0 as a professional.

Jake Melvin made his professional debut at super-lightweight on Friday, emerging victorious over four rounds against Peter Alexandrov to the delight of a raucous home crowd. Melvin boxed well throughout in a fight which maintained a frantic pace. The debutant told BBTV post-fight of his desire to follow in his father’s footsteps and secure an Irish title later on in his career but insisted on taking each fight at a time and making the most of every opportunity to learn and develop.

Dudley welterweight Danny Ball returned to a professional ring for the first time since his defeat to British and Commonwealth champion Ekow Essuman last October, successfully out-pointing Dale Arrowsmith over four rounds. Ball looked relaxed from the off, settling behind his jab and working the body of Arrowsmith well. Post-fight, Ball told BBTV of the plan to run out next over eight rounds before hopefully landing another big fight. ‘Anyone in the welterweight division, I’ve proven I’ll fight anyone. Just fighting for the British was a dream, now I’ve fought for it I know I can conquer it and I know I can win it’. Ball’s record now stands at 11-1-1 respectively.

Further down the card, Connor Goodchild scored a third-round stoppage of Sultan Ahmet, the former dominating the affair with hard, punishing blows throughout the welterweight contest. Goodchild’s record now stands at 8-0-0 as a professional. Brandon Jones secured his fourth professional victory in as many fights, opponent Elvis Dube forced to pull out after the opening session due to a shoulder injury. Jones caught the Derbyshire man flush numerous times and the writing was on the wall regardless of the injury, the victor telling BBTV that he knew he would have likely hurt his opponent had he been allowed to continue.

Debutant Danny Williams earned a hard fought four-round victory over Lee Hallett in a hellacious super-lightweight contest. Williams fought fire with fire for much of the bout, his corner imploring the Hereford man to keep his hands up in a superbly entertaining fight for those ringside. ‘I would have liked to have been a bit tidier, but I do love a scrap. It’s something to work on for next time‘, Williams told BBTV post-fight. Williams’ stablemate Cliff Henry secured his second professional victory in as many fights, also going the full four rounds against the experienced journeyman Lewis van Poetsch in a light-heavyweight contest. Henry switched well between orthodox and southpaw throughout the bout, appearing to break his opponent down towards the end of the fight, admitting he felt he may have been able to force the stoppage had there been an extra couple of rounds at the end. Nonetheless, the bout provided valuable minutes as Henry seeks to continue his professional development.

Post fight BBTV interviews

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Josh Stokes
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Danny Ball
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