Shropshire Star

Kirstie Bavington backed to fight her way to world title shot

Kirstie Bavington is plotting a way to a world title shot after the Wolverhampton fighter’s recent successful defence of her European Boxing Union Welterweight belt against Germany’s Naomi Mannes.


At the Rotherham Magna Centre on November 19 Bavington was in another of her exciting trademark battles as she picked up a unanimous points decision over the previously unbeaten Mannes.

Now at 7-2-2 (2), including a highlight victory over highly-touted April Hunter, ‘Bavvo’ is on a four-fight winning streak and Fightzone promoter Dennis Hobson believes the 30-year-old can follow in the footsteps of her Fight Academy stablemate, Hannah Rankin.

Having previously guided the likes of Ricky Hatton, Clinton Woods and Jamie McDonnell to the pinnacle of the sport, as well as helping Rankin to become a double and two-time world champion, Hobson is a master at manouvering fighters into life-changing opportunities and sees Kirstie as a future star.

“I do think we can do a similar job with Kirstie, like we did with Hannah. We’ve got a great blueprint for the way we guided Hannah to the top, and Kirstie can benefit from that.

“Hannah will, I believe, become a world champion again [having lost her belts to Terri Harper in September] but we can do the same with Kirstie. She’s exciting and is great for the fans to watch. And the best thing about her is she wants it so much – so she isn’t shy when it gets a bit hot in the kitchen!

“I like Kirstie and her attitude, she brings it every time she steps in the ring. Women’s boxing has progressed so far so quickly, and I’m a converted fan. I love watching the women box and we’ve got some really good female fighters in our stable, including Katie Healy.

“I’m happy with how we’re regrouping at Fight Academy and Fightzone. We’ve let a few people go, we’ve got a few people who’ve come back on board and we’ll continue to get fighters opportunities who appreciate what we’re doing for them.”

Luke ‘King of Scrap’ Smith was the king of the bareknuckle boxing ring in London.

The 29-year-old, from Walsall, ditched his gloves to fight for BKB TM – and showed huge promise on his debut for them at the O2 Arena.

Gareth Hutchin had no answer to his skills and was thoroughly outboxed before being knocked out in the second.

Smith had a good amateur schooling and his pedigree showed. He came out jabbing and when Hutchin tried to get his lead hand working, Smith slipped the punch and countered with a precise right hand to the jaw.

That punch put a dent in Hutchin and Smith stayed in charge until the bell.

Hutchin decided all-out aggression could get him into the fight and let his hands go at the start of the second.

Smith kept his cool, picked the cleaner punches and a jolting southpaw jab put Hutchin on his knees and he was counted out.