Preview: Welsh Fight Academy returns to Swansea

Preview: Welsh Fight Academy returns to Swansea

Mo Prior’s Welsh Fight Academy returns at the LC2 in Swansea on Saturday. The show, named ‘Undeterred’, features a crop of Welsh up-and-comers but the most interest will be for hometowner Ricky Owen (15-0, 4KO), who hasn’t fought for nearly six years.

The southpaw reached the final of a Prizefighter tournament in 2010, only to be ruled out of it due to an eye injury. Owen only fought twice more in routine matchups and many fight fans were left to wonder what his ceiling was. However, he’s back and Richie Garner’s powers of pursuation played a role.

Newport’s former Welsh middleweight champion Lee Churcher (12-3-1, 4KO) is also making a return, having not competed on a British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) card for five years due to licensing issues. The middleweight, who trains under Tony Borg at St Joseph’s Boxing Club, locks horns with Darryl Sharp (5-18) over six rounds as he looks to start the ball rolling for more title shots.

Switch-hitting super-welterweight Mano Lee (3-2, 1KO) will look to build on his maiden stoppage victory in May, the best performance of his short career. “Lightening”, who boxed under former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli as an amateur, will be against London’s Jordan Grannum (2-3). The Englishman heads to South West Wales on a three-fight losing streak and Lee is capable of extending it.

Commonwealth champion Jay Harris (10-0, 6KO), also managed by Gary Lockett, has a claim to be the best boxer on the bill. The flyweight, who is trained by his father and former British champion Peter Harris, is yet to be officially matched. In February, Harris dethroned Africa’s Thomas Essomba and demonstrated his ability as one of Wales’ must watch prospects.

However, three of their stablemates have been ruled out due to injury. Middleweight Alex ‘Bad News’ Hughes(10-0, 4KO) has been thumbed in the eye, lightweight Zack Davies (8-1, 2KO) has suffered a wrist injury and super-lightweight Chris ‘Rock n Rolla’ Jenkins (17-2-1, 8KO) has a severe ear infection.

Pontypool’s Kieran Gething (1-1-1, 1KO) has linked up with 2002 Commonwealth Games hold medallist Jamie Arthur, who will manage the super-welterweight, while he’s still trained by Lyndon James. Their first task at hand is William Warburton (23-118-9, 4KO), arguably Britain’s best ‘journeyman’. The pair are scheduled for six rounds and Warburton will come with confidence after good performances in recent years against Welshmen like Lewis Rees and Mano Lee. Gething, a former Welsh amateur champion, was winless in his first two paid outings, until a strong show of body punching halted Rob Brown in May.

After a recent away day upset over a fellow prospect in Somerset, Port Talbot’s unbeaten super-middleweight Geraint Goodridge(2-0) faces the crafty Lewis Van Poetsch (5-48-1, 1KO) as he looks for a hat-trick of wins.

Rhoose’s energetic lightweight Lance Cooksey (1-0), another multi-time Welsh amateur champion, tackles the winless Dylan Draper (0-2) over four rounds and to complete the card.

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