Geraint Goodridge, Lance Cooksey and Kieran Gething record first professional wins

Geraint Goodridge, Lance Cooksey and Kieran Gething record first professional wins

Last night, a near sell-out crowd packed in to Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall for the debut promotion of new outfit Welsh Fight Academy and they witnessed three up-and-comers record their maiden triumphs.

Port Talbot’s Geraint Goodridge (1-0) gradually warmed in to his professional debut, grinding out a 39-37 decision victory over the winless Jacob Lucas (0-8-2).

On Lucas’ last visit to Wales, he was stopped in two rounds by another debutant, Newport’s Daniel Barton. That was just five weeks ago and the southpaw’s confidence showed no lasting effects. Lucas was wiling to match Goodridge’s aggression, finding room for a few meaty body shots in the opener.

Goodridge, who came to the sport through the white collar scene, was willed on by trainer Jamie Arthur but his ambition was initially shut down by Lucas’ long leavers. Early on, the debutant was evidently frustrated and hit Lucas after referee called break, leading to a talking to by the presiding official, Martin Williams.

While those tactics were effective, they bordered on rule breaks and Lucas couldn’t keep them up. Goodridge, although standing square, found his spot on Lucas’ chest frequently in the second round, forcing his way through with short clubbing hooks.

Goodridge’s enthusiasm was in full flow by the third round and Lucas tried to control the waves of attacks with a blatant wrestler’s headlock. It didn’t leave the referee with any other option than to dock the visitor a point.

It served to boot Lucas in the backside and he responded in the closing round, turning the tables on Goodridge and enjoying the better of the exchanges. Still, it wasn’t enough to get something from the contest, which served as a learning experience for the Welshman.

Rhoose’s powerful Lance Cooksey (1-0) made a solid start in the paid code, pounding out a 40-36 decision against the Midlands’ tough Michael Mooney (8-30, 3KO).

Cooksey, who represented Wales as an international in the amateurs, has now linked up with Tony Borg in Newport. Under instruction from the head coach at St Joseph’s Boxing Club, the muscular Cooksey got stuck in to Mooney with body shots on both sides to excite his vocal support.

After an energetic opener, Cooksey’s corner ordered him to take his time from range. He prodded and poked away with a testing jab, which opened Mooney’s guard for more meaningful punches.

The cooling of his previously red-hot work rate helped the quality work standout, especially when he leant over to uncork a left uppercut/overhand right combination.

Little came back from Mooney but he used his experienced to look active, bouncing on his feet and feinting to keep Cooksey alert. Cooksey reproduced his first round performance in the fourth and final installment, briefly trapping Mooney in a neutral corner to round off a solid debut.

Pontypool’s Kieran Gething (1-1-1, 1KO) came to collect his first victory after a pair of winless starts as a professional. Unphased by a change of opponent, the super-welterweight stopped Rob Brown (2-8, 1KO) in the final session of their four rounder.

Early on, the 23-year-old got going behind a regular jab and it served to push Brown backwards, enabling Gething to step in with more solid shots, particularly a right cross.

Encouraged to throw a left to the body by his corner, Gething further eroded Brown’s ambition and appeared to have the late stand-in under control. It continued in the second stanza and while Brown was busy enough to keep Gething aware, it was mostly one-way traffic.

Gething’s tactics weren’t just born out of eagerness to get stuck in; it was smart and also helpful in reducing Brown’s height advantage. Up close, Gething turned Brown to open up angles for hooks around the side and up through the middle, scoring with a stand out uppercut to close the third round.

The pressure built up and burst Brown’s pipes in the fourth round, first badly bloodying his nose and Gething eventually made the breakthrough with his favoured left hook to the body. Brown rose to his feet but it was too late, coming on the 10 count of referee Martin Williams.

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