By Owen Morgan
A packed Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff witnessed a spectacular night of boxing to celebrate St David’s Day.
The main event of the MTK Global show saw Gloucester’s Akeem Ennis Brown retain his IBF European super-lightweight title with a unanimous victory over Rochdale’s Bilal Rehman.
But the stacked undercard – broadcast live on IFL TV – saw a number of impressive displays by talented Welsh boxers.
Less than a month after claiming the Welsh area super-lightweight title, Gwent’s Kieran Gething was back on winning form gaining a points decision over Spain’s Damian Esquisabel.
Gething said afterwards: “It was a good win. It was great to get the rounds in, especially on a platform like IFL TV. I hope people enjoyed my fight and take on board that I’m here to win titles. I’d love another title or two this year.
“A lot of my family came and a lot of my fans made the trip, so a big thanks to them for coming twice in a month to see me. It’s been good to get in there again quick as it’s kept me focused in the gym. I’ve got a few things to sort out and then we’ll be back in the summer.”
There was a hard fought victory for Jacob Robinson, son of former WBO featherweight World Champion Steve.
“Baby Jake” enjoyed a narrow six-round points decision over Camberley’s Jonny Phillips, despite having been put on the floor in the penultimate round.
The southpaw said afterwards: “I was pleased with the win. I thought I was loading up a bit too much in certain rounds, but I think I hurt him at points of the fight too which made him shut up shop and go into journeyman stage a bit. I’d rate my performance a seven out of ten.
“I did what I had to do and it was a good step up for me. He’s better than I thought he was so credit to him. It was a big crowd and I sold a lot of tickets for this, so I want to push on now.”
Commonwealth flyweight champion Jay Harris faced a late replacement in the shape of Brett Fidoe, and came through on points over six rounds.
The win extended the Swansea man’s unblemished career record to 15 straight wins. It was the perfect way to celebrated the news he has been made mandatory challenger for the British and European titles.
Harris said afterwards: “I’m glad I won, but I wasn’t pleased with that performance at all. I’ve boxed 100 times better than that in the past. I can’t box like that if I’m up against Andrew Selby or Vincent Legrand, but against the likes of those guys perhaps my head will be more switched on.”
“Fair play to Brett Fidoe as he stepped in at 10pm on Thursday night. We had four pullouts and I was originally fighting a southpaw, but that’s no excuse, I should be able to adapt to that. We’ll go back to the gym and work on a lot and you’ll see a much better Jay Harris.”
Another Swansea boxer Jacob Lovell registered a third round stoppage against Plymouth’s Mohamed Mahmoud.
The 19-year-old super-lightweight said: “In the first two rounds I didn’t feel myself, but then in the third round I came out and managed to get the stoppage. I found him a bit tricky in the first couple of rounds because he had a longer reach than me, but I stepped on the gas and got him out of there.
“I’m only 19 so I’m taking it one step at a time. It was a good night for the gym too as the other guys from our camp on the card all won, so that was perfect.”
There were also impressive stoppages for Maerdy’s Alex Hughes, who ended his clash with Nicaraguan Wilmer Gonzalez in the first round, while Tonypandy’s teenage super-featherweight Rhys Edwards celebrated a three-round stoppage against another Nicaraguan Elvis Guillen.
Cardiff welterweight Maredudd Thomas chalked up a comfortable points win over Londoner Richard Samuels, while Carmarthen’s Angelo Dragone also won on points against another Nicaraguan Michael Isaac Carrero.
Featherweight David White Jnr, of Cardiff, battled to a hard fought draw against Jose Aguilar, of Nicaragua.