Walcot’s boxing jockey Felix De Giles prepared for this week’s Cheltenham Festival in the best possible way with victory in the ring at the Supermarine Sports and Social Club in South Marston last Friday, writes Dave Veysey.
The 24-year-old headlined the Walcot event and took his tally to five wins from six contests with a gritty points win over Bristol rival Joe Burman.
After two close rounds the former Nicky Henderson conditional jockey increased his workrate during the final session to win by a unanimous points verdict.
The 12-bout bill was made up of eight bouts involving Walcot boxers, and four Western Counties Junior Final contests.
Ten-year-old Sammy Harris started the ball rolling for the host club with an entertaining exhibition bout with Gloucester’s Harry Brazil.
Despite giving away age, weight and experience the pint-sized terrier kept busy and acquitted himself well throughout the three rounds.
This was an exhibition contest, as the lads were too young to box officially, so there is no winner or loser.
Fourteen-year-old Johnny McDonagh made an impressive comeback after a year out of the ring, blitzing the unfortunate Joel Garrett of Avalon ABC in under a round.
From the opening bell of this bantamweight contest the taller Garrett attempted to use his reach advantage to keep McDonagh at bay with left jabs.
But the talented Walcot boxer kept close to his opponent and a minute into the round landed with a telling left hook which floored the Avalon boxer.
Garrett bravely beat the count but another heavy blow landed soon after which prompted his corner to throw in the towel after just 1 minute 25 seconds of the contest.
This was an impressive return to action by McDonagh, who competes in the National Junior Championships quarter finals next Saturday.
There were also some heroic performances in defeat for the host club boxers.
Seventeen-year-old Orgest Peroshi can consider himself unlucky to have lost out to Zak Pearce from the Empire Boxing Club in Bristol.
In a hard-fought encounter the Wroughton-based Albanian appear to shade it – but it was the Bristolian who had his arm raised by the referee.
Bill Harris was also involved in a terrific tussle – his opponent being Reece Taylor from Pinewood ABC in Reading.
Both eleven-year-olds gave it everything over three entertaining rounds, with Taylor edging the result on points.
Hannah O’Brien made her ring debut against the more experienced Sophie Morton of Droitwich ABC.
Morton’s ring experience told and despite lots of effort from the 13-year-old Swindonian the sharper punches were landed by her opponent, who won by a unanimous points margin.
Eleven-year-old Fred Bond was involved in a rematch with Malmesbury rival Aiden Hirst.
Last time the Walcot boxer won, but on this occasion Hirst took his revenge.
Bringing the curtain down on a great night of boxing was 28-year-old Fred De Giles – older brother of Felix.
He met local rival Brett Weaving of Devizes ABC in a 70 kgs clash of power hitters.
Both boxers went at it hammer and tongs for three exciting rounds, which thrilled the large crowd who had stayed to the end.
At the final bell it was Weaving who was awarded a unanimous points victory, but a rematch has already been arranged at the Devizes event next month.
Walcot coach Harold Scott summed up the evening saying: “All the Walcot boxers boxed well this evening, and I hope they enjoyed their bouts.
“A big thank you to Vince Gibbs and John McGrath, our main sponsors, and to everyone who came to support us this evening. Thanks also to Kath at the Supermarine for her help in making the evening a success.”