The majority of results may not have gone their way, but Friday’s home show provided a big indication that Eastgate Amateur Boxing Club is currently in rude health.
Four young fighters were on the bill for the Rougham-based club at Ashlar House, while Thetford Town Boxing Club — armed with a large amount of support — shared the show with Eastgate, adding six boxers to the card.
Eastgate’s Offie Price and Cameron Elvin lost out on unanimous decisions to David Pagado (Norwich City) and Mitch Lawson (Halstead) respectively, with Terrance Price showing some good improvement in his second skills bout.
Eleven-year-old Bailey Petrie, meanwhile, did provide some reason for cheer as he won all three rounds over Halstead’s Luke Smee.
Reflecting on the events of the night, Eastgate chairman and coach Mick Bryant was in positive mood.
“We do a lot of sparring of course, but you cannot beat the experience these lads will have got from being in the ring and fighting in front of a big crowd,” he said.
“In the ring is where you start to move on and make improvements.
“To do this in our own town is a wonderful thing.
“The future is really bright here — we have shown that tonight.”
As for Thetford, half of their four competitive fighters enjoyed split-decision victories.
Declan White was up against a tough opponent in the City of Leicester’s Charlie Grant.
A close bout ensued, with White eventually coming out on top, though not all of the judges were in agreement.
As for Kieran Keen, he found himself on the back foot for much of the first round against Nathan Johnson of Hoddesdon.
But Keen was more attack-minded in rounds two and three, using his jab to good effect and being more astute with his block.
Once again the judges were not unanimous, but the Thetford representative had done enough to have his arm held aloft.
Decisions went against Kyle McKechnie and Conor Dean in close contests, yet further reason for Thetford optimism was provided by their two youngsters that showed no fear on their skills bout debuts.
Tommy Iwanicki was impressive, particularly in the second round of his fight, but one of the stars of the evening was Mason Elliott.
Small in stature, the event’s MC noted that Elliott had to slide under the bottom rope to get into the ring.
However, what the 10-year-old lacks in height right now, he certainly made up for in determination, heart and desire.
Chalvedon’s Teddy Fleming was much taller than his Thetford counterpart and therefore had a greater reach, but Elliott more than held his own, much to the delight of the entire crowd.
Thetford head coach Matthew Dean, who helped launch the club in September 2016, said of his two protégés: “As soon as Mason started in the gym with us he was a natural.
“It has been a journey for him to get this far but now he has got the first one out the way it is onwards and upwards.
“It is the same with Tommy. He produced some really good stuff and I could not be happier.
“Both of them will benefit a lot from this experience.”