Shropshire Star

Future looks bright as the home stars shine in Telford

A number of Bright Star boxers shone as the club hosted a show at Telford’s Mercure Hotel.


There was plenty of action on offer with the home fighters impressive in victory and defeat.

Jacob Lloyd can walk away with his head held high after losing narrowly to unbeaten and highly-regarded Charlie Loughran.

In Coventry’s Loughran (Toe 2 Toe), the 20-year-old faced an opponent who is now unbeaten in 10 and a national novice finalist.

Yet Lloyd, a man with aspirations to turn pro, made Loughran battle all the way. And there were those at ringside who felt the local lad unlucky to lose a unanimous decision.

I didn’t. For me, 18-year-old Loughran just edged it with his heavier shots. Lloyd produced the better work early on, but Loughran – hindered by a warning for holding in the last – pulled the fat out of the fire down the stretch.

In defeat, Lloyd showed he can succeed at a higher level for the Shifnal-based club.

Bright Star’s other heavy, 24-year-old George Freeman, dug deep to outpoint Kareem Abu-Khalil (Cannock) in a free-swinging affair.

Abu-Khalil was dangerous with right hooks and it was nip-and-took until the last of a gruelling encounter. Freeman kept his boxing together, landed the cleaner shots and bagged the unanimous verdict.

Teenage lightweight Ryan Lawrence continues to show steady improvement under the Bright Star banner, taking a tight, majority decision over fellow 18-year-old Muhammad Ali in a classy contest.

Ali (Wolverhampton) landed good right hands and showed lovely moves. But, again, the stamina of Bright Star fighters down the stretch proved decisive. Rangy Lawrence bossed the last and landed one particularly eye-catching right uppercut.

Bright Star welter Jay Sondhi and southpaw Joe Ayling (Ten Count) served-up a thriller.

The pair went at it hammer and tongs from first bell to last. Ayling, loose and unorthodox, threw punches from strange angles and cracked home a lovely right hook on the bell to end the second.

Sondhi, aged 19, roared back in the last, but Ayling had enough points in the bag to grab victory.

Tom Elliott, Bright Star’s 17-year-old lightweight, lost out on points to southpaw Kusshi Singh in a bout that, at times, became messy.

Singh showed some good footwork and appeared to edge an untidy final session.

There were many who thought the home club’s tough light-middle Owen Thornton should have had his hand raised after an entertaining encounter with Bryn Jones (Cannock). But Jones took the contest on a split decision.

The first was a battle of jabs and in the second Jones – looking to counter-punch – found the target with a solid right.

Thornton, aged 17, drove himself forward in the last and appeared to have the better of exchanges. But the late surge was not enough for the judges.

There were mixed fortunes for Bright Star’s 15-year-old twins Diovan and Arivan Mohammed – both lightweights and both making their debuts on the show.

Arivan produced good body shots to halt Henley Broadway (Trojan). He bulled forward throughout the contest and the incessant pressure paid dividends in the second, with the ref calling it off after Broadway received his second standing count of the session.

In a bout filled with raw, uncompromising action, Diovan was unanimously outpointed by Rugeley Police southpaw Reeve Kendall.

Both bled heavily from the nose as heavy shots clattered home. The difference was tall Kendall’s right hand – he landed it frequently throughout the battle.

Teenagers Isaac Nagra (Bright Star) and Jayden Evans swapped punches toe-to-toe in a thrilling final round of a see-saw scrap, with

Southpaw Evans countered crisply in the first, only for 15-year-old Nagra to grab the initiative in the second. With the bout in the balance, both boys simply slung leather in the last, with Evans taking a tight, majority decision.

Fight of the night belonged to Bright Star 15-year-old Iris Loveland and Darcy Judge (Selby), with the visitor winning by majority.

Judge came out swinging, while Loveland attempted to stem the tide through straight punches. With Judge’s stamina slipping, Loveland bit on her gumshield and kept the punches flowing.

Both took turns to land in a dramatic last round.

Bright Star schoolboy Archie Hopton, 13, and Sam Aspley (Boxing Clever) produced a fine display of textbook boxing that saw the visitor find an extra gear in the third to take the decision.

The night’s best display of the night came from 13-year-old Ieaun Shaughnessy (Bright Star) against Brooklands’ Martin McDonagh.

Shaughnessy, who took a unanimous decision, was a joy to watch. He jabbed well, showed excellent movement and delivered straight rights with unerring accuracy.

In skills bouts, where no decision is delivered, Jaidon Horton (10, Elite Legionaires The Fort) faced Justin Berki (Fearless); Maddison Jones (12, Bright Star) faced Beyonce Young (Wildcard); Lewis Wakenell (14, Bright Star) faced Lewis Harvey (Silverdale); Lucy Adie (15, Bright Star) faced Destiny Palmer (Ashfield School of Boxing).