Express & Star

Cannock the scene for one of the fights of the year

Cannock could stage one of Midlands boxing’s fights of the year tomorrow, writes Matt Bozeat.


Bar Sport’s Premier Suite stages the latest Excelsior Sporting Club fight night on Thursday and diners will be glad to see Jess Barry back in action.

Her fight with Kerry Orton was the highlight of the show last November, with Excelsior Sporting Club chief Scott Murray calling it “a terrific battle.”

The 29 year old from Coventry is matched tough again this week.

Lenka Volesinkova comes from the Czech Republic with three wins from four fights. In her only loss, she was competitive against Paige Murney, the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist from Leicester. Murray said: “It has the makings of another really good fight. Jess had to dig really deep to win on out last show and I think she will have to again.”

The show also features Liam O’Hare, the unbeaten Midlands Area super-middleweight champion from Hereford, against Mike Byles in what has the makings of another good fight, and Niall Farrell, named the Midlands Area Council’s Prospect of the Year last month.

The National Amateur Championships get under way on Saturday at Bar Sport, a home fixture for fighting twins Henry and Charles Murray – the venue is owned by their father, Scott.

“They do shifts behind the bar sometimes,” said Scott, but on Saturday afternoon, they will be boxing.

Scott had 108 amateur bouts himself – many up at super-heavyweight – and says the NAC Championships – the ABAs as it was – has unhappy memories for him.

There was controversy after the 1990 Midlands final against Brandon Summers (Wednesbury).

“I outpointed him,” said Scott. “And then they told me I couldn’t go through because I was two minutes late for the weigh in.

“It was on the back page of ‘Boxing News’ the following week.

“I remember them going through the rule book in the changing room afterwards.”

Charles and Henry, set to enter the NACs at 71kg and 75kg respectively, have a similar appetite for fighting.

“We had to stop them sparring each other around five years ago,” said Scott. “It used to get out of hand and their mum didn’t like it! They used to knock lumps out of each other.”

The twins have had good sparring ahead of the NACs, going to the Fitzroy Lodge and Repton gyms on successive nights earlier this month.

“We know it’s a big test for them,” said Scott. “But they are tough, have a lot of heart and have had 20 bouts each.”

Light-welterweights Osama Mohammed (Lions) and Innocent Moyo (BoxSmart Elite) could meet again in the Championship.

Moyo was a controversial knockout winner on a club show 12 months ago, a result that put Mohamed out of the NACs.

Footage showed Moyo appeared to make contact with his head after landing the final punch, a left hook.

They met again at the Haringey Box Cup last June and Mohamed snatched a tight, unanimous points win.

Both are entered in this year’s championship.