- Dexter Hastings/Dan Mole
Updated: Feb 24, 2020
English title contender Liam Davies will lead the way when professional boxing returns to the town of Telford after a 13-year absence. BCB Promotions are staging a pro card at the Oakengates Theatre, which last hosted paid pugilism way back on 1 December 2007. That venue, which is now called the Place, is primed again for fight night on April 4, with second-generation fighter Davies at the top of the bill. The show is titled ‘Telford Takeover.’
His dad, Tristan, featured on that 2007 offering, falling to a fifth round TKO defeat to Graeme Higginson for the now-defunct British Masters super lightweight title. Davies Sr enjoyed a much better night there in November 2006, outpointing Carl Allen to become the Midlands lightweight champion. Davies Jr is in line for bigger prizes, though, after being selected as the next challenger for Marc Leach’s English bantamweight crown. The British Boxing Board of Control has put that match to purse bids, which are to be received by March 11 with the contest to take place before the end of June. The younger Davies won national honours at amateur level, in the 2010 ABA Schoolboys tournament, while representing his father’s Donnington Boxing Club. He racked up exactly 100 amateur bouts, coming out on top 78 times, and boxed for England’s youth team, before turning pro at the end of 2018. The unbeaten 23-year-old, who still lives in Donnington, has built up a pro record of seven wins with two TKOs, taking out Pablo Narvaez and Jose Aguilar early.
His brother, Bradley Thompson, (the duo have the same mother) is following them into the pro ranks and will debut at flyweight. Thompson, who is just 18, is from similar stock, having himself been picked for his country as a youth and claiming an England Junior national title, in 2016, for Donnington BC. Four more Telford boxers complete the line-up, with Raja Khan another to make his pro bow. Dean Jones, Ryan Whitehead and Nathan McFarlane are the others in the home corner.
Khan, 21, will punch for pay at middleweight, on the back of a whirlwind year where his two bouts of competitive experience were picked up with Wellington Boxing Club. Lightweight Jones, 30, undertakes a rare home appearance after journeyman status on the road, with 25 fights accumulated since his August 2018 debut. He may have lost 24 of those, but only Dean Dodge has stopped him, in the last of six rounds. Jones has won once, too, outpointing Barrie McRorie over six.
Whitehead made his debut on February 14, keeping hometown opponent Kearon Thomas winless with a 40-36 points whitewash at Walsall Football Club. The 26-year-old now aims to make it back-to-back victories in the super middleweight division. He's a stablemate of Jones with the pair now boxing out of former BCB stalwart, Kieron 'Slammer' Gray's gym in Broseley.
The third fighter from Slammer's Shropshire pro gym is super lightweight McFarlane who steps through the ropes four days shy of his 29th birthday, with two pro successes already to his credit. He’s beaten Kristian Laight and Ibrar Riyaz on points so far and now targets a trio of wins. He boxed for Len Woodhall’s Community Club, in Madeley, as an amateur.
Tickets are on sale priced at £35 standard, £50 ringside and £65 on the stage, the latter with a buffet and waitress service. Buy them from the boxers or the BCB Box Office on 07493 582 261.