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UK Boxing: Frankie Gavin; James Beech Jr; Dani Hodges

Frankie Gavin made a winning return to the ring on Sunday afternoon as he disposed of teak tough Halesowen veteran, Kevin McCauley, on BCB Promotions’ ‘Bilbao Bound’ show at the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre.

The former British and Commonwealth King got six rounds under his belt as he steps up preparations ahead of his European title challenge against current champion, Kerman Lejarraga, in Bilbao.

“It was good to be back in there,” Gavin told bcb-promotions.com. “I’ve come down in weight and I was only six pounds over the weight limit for the fight in November. I felt good in there and I’m back in camp ready for the Lejarraga fight.”

Elsewhere, Gavin’s stablemate Brad ‘Bosh’ Thomas got a bloody welcome to life in the pro ranks as he drew with Worcester War Horse, Michael Mooney. Thomas’ nose was bloodied early on but the former white collar fighter braved it out and recorded a 39-39 draw.

Solihull’s Jordan Clayton made a welcome ring return after a nine month absence. The 24 year-old, fighting for the first time since his loss to Danny Butler last December, recorded a 40-36 win over Brierley Hill’s MJ Hall.

Birmingham heavyweight, Kash Ali, made easy work of Manchester’s Lee Carter. The Central Area Heavyweight Champion stopped Carter in the second round after a viscious body shot saw his opponent doubled up in pain unable to beat the count.

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James Beech Jr will be left holding the baby after his contest this weekend feeling he’ll have proved himself as a hot prospect.

Unbeaten Beech targets eight pro wins without reply in the super bantamweight division at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday (September 22).

Beech is additionally preparing to become a father for the first time with his partner, Erica, due to give birth in October.

The 21-year-old is second-generation fighter as the son of Jimmy Beech, who laced on the gloves for 31 pro outings at lightweight between 1999 and 2008.

He’s a graduate of Pleck Boxing Club, who he boxed for 80 times with 50 wins. Beech has one TKO as a pro, having scored two as an amateur. He’s coached by Peter Hickenbottom.

He has already got an eight-rounder under his belt, claiming a British Challenge strap in the process after outpointing Paul Gidney by a 78-75 score in April.

Beech will need a time out for personal reasons after his September 22 fight date, but has not ruled out competing again before 2018 is out.

“I’ll need a break from boxing to get used to family life, but I’ll still be in the gym and I might even try and get back out in December.

“I don’t want to go stale, I’ve been ticking over since my last fight and I’ve pretty much been in the gym all year. I’ve been a busy boxer.

“My last opponent was just there to go the distance, I was thinking to myself when I was in there how much it was like being in cruise control.

“I’d love to have a fight against someone who has a pop back. Only Gidney has tried, he took two rounds off me, but I still schooled him.

“That’s the only thing I’ve dropped as a pro, I’ve shared a couple of rounds before but this is my eighth pro bout and I’m won them all comfortably.

“I’m a distance fighter and, with eight weeks notice to have a good camp, I’ll be ready for anyone even if it means going up to 10 or 12 rounds.

“People have asked me about Brad Foster, now he’s got the Midlands title at my weight. I suppose it’s an obvious one to make as he beat a BCB lad in Leon Gower.

“I didn’t expect Brad to beat him that convincingly and he never had to get out of second gear to do it. It would be a different story against me.

“I’d box him in a different way, no disrespect to Leon but he was there to be hit and Brad wouldn’t be able to do those little spin offs against me.

“Ashley Lane is the champion that most of the bantamweight prospects want, as who knows what’s going on with the British and English titles.

“He’s a tough lad and a strong kid, but I think I’d be too skilful for him. I’ve proved I’ve got potential and I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.”

Beech Jr features on BCB Promotions show, which is topped by a 10-round title fight. Tyler Denny, from Rowley Regis, and Leeds’ Reece Cartwright will collide for the vacant English middleweight crown in a hotly-anticipated main event.

The rest of the under-card features another Walsall pugilist, Levi Ferguson, looking to build on his pro debut at the same venue. He outpointed Paul Cummings at super welter.

Ryan ‘Stewart’ Davies will be looking to rebound from his first pro defeat, in a title fight situation against the experienced Rob Hunt.

Burntwood flyweight ‘Pocket Rocket’ Dani Hodges, is also in action alongside former national amateur champion Connah Walker, of Wolverhampton, who turns over under the tutelage of boxing legend Ricky Hatton. Ex-kickboxer Troi ‘the Hawk’ Coleman, from Burntwood, completes the line-up. He hovered around light heavyweight in his former calling.

Tickets, priced at £35 standard and £65 VIP ringside, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It will be £40 for entry on the door.

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Dani Hodges insists she’ll take on all comers as she attempts to notch another win as a female fighter on Saturday.

The former kickboxer turned over to the world of professional boxing over the summer and is back in action at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday September 22.

Her only prior experience of the sweet science came on the unlicenced circuit, having represented the Platinum Kickboxing Club in her former calling.

She next features on Errol Johnson’s BCB Promotions show, which is topped by a 10-round title fight. Tyler Denny, from Rowley Regis, and Leeds’ Reece Cartwright will collide for the vacant English middleweight crown in a hotly-anticipated main event.

Hodges – full forenames Danielle Jordan – undertakes another four-rounder after defeating Teodora Hristova under the same lights in July.

The 32-year-old single mother, from Burntwood, could even afford to lose a round on referee Shaun Messer’s scorecard as she dominated the other three stanzas.

‘The pocket rocket’ had been due to begin life as a registered pro at London’s famed York Hall the previous month, against former world kickboxing champion Ruqsana Begum.

David Haye promoted the bill which Hodges never ended up featuring on, despite tipping the scales for the contest. Begum pulled out on the day, citing illness.

Hodges would love the scalp of the ‘Warrior Princess’ down the line and with ‘Lionheart’ Lauren Parker turning over, there are now three credible female flyweights domestically.

There’s never been a British title contested at the weight, but there are world belts to be won with the IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC.

Hodges has high hopes she and her fellow Brits can build up a division and challenge for worthwhile honours, having put the Begum disappointment behind her.

“We made the weight the previous day and, about three hours before the show, she pulled out with food poisoning,” she told bcb-promotions.com. “I was absolutely gutted.

“I stayed to watch the show and to have a word with David Haye, probably just to let off some steam about how this could have happened.They thought I was going to rock up as some white collar journeywoman and got a bit of a shock when it became clear I was coming to win.

“I’ll fight anybody in my division, there isn’t enough lady flyweights around to build up a padded record so you’ve got to take on all comers.

“I walk around at flyweight, in or out of camp, I could cut down to light fly or minimumweight but there would be even less girls to box then!

“It’s tough to get sparring, never mind opponents, so I end up sparring heavier lads in the gym most of the time. I suck it up and get on with it.

“I’ve sparred with Rachel Ball (BCB stable-mate) throughout my boxing and kickboxing career, so it comes in handy for me when she’s around. I set a fast pace, as you’d expect for a flyweight, and I like to come forward although I can also box on the back-foot. I’ve learned to adapt.
“I know, through experience, that I can think on my feet and I had to do that on my debut. It felt like I was getting the ring rust off, at first. I edged it, now it’s on to September 22 where I want to go out there and make a name for myself, as someone who’s worthwhile supporting.”

The under-card also features Walsall favourites James Beech Jr and Levi Ferguson, Oldbury’s Ryan ‘Stewart’ Davies, two-time national amateur champion Conah Walker, of Wolverhampton, turns over under the tutelage of boxing legend Ricky Hatton, who will be in his corner come fight night and ex-kickboxer Troi ‘the Hawk’ Coleman, from Burntwood, completes the line-up as a middleweight.

Tickets, priced at £35 standard and £65 VIP ringside, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.


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