ONE of the most ambitious amateur boxing events ever staged in the North East is set to take place this weekend in Gateshead, with Wearside well-represented against visiting squads from Spain and the Netherlands.
Boldon’s Paul Gidney, South Durham’s James Archer and Spennymoor’s Joel Spragg are all involved in bouts against Spain’s senior side.
In the juniors, Houghton’s Josh Kelly, fresh from his success in the Tri-Nations tournament at the weekend leads the way against the Dutch.
Also fighting in the junior section are Lambton Street’s Ben Grassam and Warren Cassap, Plains Farm’s Kevin Nelson and Spennymoor’s Joe Dodds.
The Tyne, Tees and Wear ABA have arranged the show and their Lonsdale Lions will take on the Spanish senior national squad at Gateshead College on Saturday, while the Area juniors face Holland’s best young fighters on the Sunday.
“It’ll be the greatest weekend of amateur boxing ever seen in the North East,” said Area treasurer Davey Newth.
“We’re all excited at the prospect of it in Olympic year.”
Organisers hope that if this weekend proves a success and draws a good crowd, they can foster international links with Europe’s best amateurs.
“We intend to have a long-term relationship with both Spain and the Netherlands,” Newth said.
“We even aim to have joint training camps.
“Some people have moaned that we up here in the North East aren’t recognised by London, but it’s no good complaining about things. I prefer to be proactive which is why we’re making these plans.”
The squads for the two-day extravaganza will feature top local fighters while Spain are bringing two Olympic stars – European silver and bronze medallist Kelvin de la Nieve and Jonathan Alonso – in an event that the organisers are desperate to see do well.
Sunderland ABC and TTW ABA official Erika Fisher told the Echo: “The success of this event will determine if the region will be able to fund future events, ensuring boxers from our region are given the opportunity to box internationally, both home and abroad.”
Tickets for the show cost £20 for both days or £15 for the one day.
Sponsorship of the bouts and event tickets can be obtained through Dave Newth on 0191 284 5279 or 07535 063 450.
H In one of two support bouts taking place over the weekend, Plains Farm’s Mick Laws will take on Hull’s Sam Knight for a Pride of the North belt on Sunday. Swalwell’s Baz Razak fights Tom Knight of Hull on Saturday in the other contest.
THE BOUTS: TTW ABA v Spain: 48kg GB International v Kelvin de la Nieve; 52kg Joel Spragg (Spennymoor) v Francisco Torrijos; 52kg Arran Hubery (Shildon) v Diego Ferrer; 56kg Jamie Humble (North Benwell) v Oreste Molina; 56kg Paul Gidney (Boldon) v Carlos Ferrao; 60kg Josh Leather (Wellington) v Erick Pambani; 64kg James Archer (South Durham) v Jonathan Alonso; 69kg Lewis Ritson (Forest Hall)v Yomba Sissocko; 81kg Geoff Mullholland (Howdon)v Jhonatan Savedra; 81kg Lawrence Osueke (Rye Hill) v Jose Sandino.
TTW ABA v The Netherlands: B Grassam (Lambton Street) v S Pormes; T Summerbell (Tootill) v T Aken; C French (Birtley) v J Corvers; C Fenwick (Horden) v S Djokic; B Rees (Newbiggin) v B Mullenberg; T Simamane (Phil Thomas SOB) v M van der Pas; J Kelly (Houghton & District) v D Minten; L Kelly (North Benwell) v M Cissoko; K Nelson (Plains Farm) v de La Cruz; J Tyres (Newbiggin) v W Djokic; J Dodds (Spennymoor)v Z Deriouch; J Minchell (Perth Green) v M Zamani; W Cassap (Lambton Street) v J Visscher.