Horsham boxers won five of their seven scored bouts in the local club’s show at the Holbrook Club.
After an impressive performance by Horsham 10-year-old Mark Johnson in an unscored skills bout, the scored contests got off to a fine start for the home club as Jerome Abadilla won his first fight.
The 13-year-old, who was born in the Philippines but moved to Horsham at the age of four, earned a unanimous points win against Bobby Cole, from Camberley-based Sporting Ring.
Cole also showed a high fitness level and will to win but could have no complaints as Abadilla was generally on the front foot, unleashing hook after hook in a right old ding-dong-do.
Inspired by the speed, movement and success of Philippines hero Manny Pacquiao, Abadilla has been boxing seriously only since April, so this was a notable debut display by one to watch.
He said: “I was a little nervous, but I just wanted to keep calm and I was pleased with what I did.”
Harry Orsini was Horsham’s only winner at the equivalent show last year, but the Southern Area novice champion was on the wrong end of a unanimous points decision this time.
Charlie Gammon is unlikely to match the career of Eltham legend Sir Henry Cooper, but his extra experience and weight advantage proved just too much for the 14-year-old from Southwater.
Horsham’s Jack Aitcheson earned the nod from the judges after forcing a standing eight count near the end of the first round against Joe Kent (Portsmouth), but Ryan Cayford (Heart of Portsmouth) stopped Carl Francis late in the Southwater teenager’s first bout for two years.
A crowd of about 400 enjoyed the show despite one of the main expected attractions, Danny Kirkland, being unable to box due to illness.
And the noise reached a new level as Jo Middleton stopped Sukrit Bumnoh (Folkestone) in the second and Oscar Canitrot edged a majority verdict in a thriller against Craig Sylvester (Littlehampton).
Sylvester had vociferous supporters too, but Canitrot’s were not shy in making themselves heard and the Horsham man acknowledged: “It’s good to have so much support, pushing you on a bit in a tight fight.”
A successful night for Horsham ended with a majority verdict for Tom Tennant against Billy Mongford, a fight notable for two hooks which rocked the Moulsecoomb man just before the final bell.
Horsham coach Dan Purchase said: “We were really happy with the show and it was great to get some good results.
“Jerome performed as we expected, there was a great atmosphere for Oscar’s fight, Jo did well to stop his opponent and Tom showed great heart.
“I was particularly happy for Jack because he has put in a lot of effort in the gym, but all eight boxers represented the club with passion.”
Abadilla is pictured by Vic Heritage, http://vicheritagephotographic.zenfolio.com
Mark Johnson (Horsham 10) v Tyler O’Callaghan (Smallholdings), skills bout
Jerome Abadilla (Horsham, 13) bt Bobby Cole (Sporting Ring), unan pts
Billy Castle (Littlehampton) bt Matt Mould (Twickenham), unan pts
Charlie Gammon (Eltham) bt Harry Orsini (Horsham, 14), unan pts
Jessie Hearne (Moulsecoomb) bt Callum Duncan (Waterlooville), unan pts
Jack Aitcheson (Horsham, 18) bt Joe Kent (Portsmouth), unan pts
Paul Newman (Mole Valley) bt Chris Barnes (Dereck Hoile Foundation), unan pts
Ryan Cayford (Heart of Portsmouth) bt Carl Francis (Horsham, 18), stopped (3)
Jo Middleton (Horsham, 19) bt Sukrit Bumnoh (Folkestone), stopped (2)
Oscar Canitrot (Horsham, 19) bt Craig Sylvester (Littlehampton), maj pts
Jack Gough (Folkestone) bt Lloyd Martin (Whitehawk), unan pts
Tom Tennant (Horsham, 21) bt Billy Mongford (Moulsecoomb), maj pts
Charlie Clarke (Crawley) bt James Morey (Cheetahs), maj pts