Sunday, 27 May 2007

Controversy & Confusion involving Newtown Boxer

On an eventful night at the Nova centre Prestatyn that also saw two boxers disqualified Luke Matthews, a junior boxer of the Newtown club, produced his best performance of his career so far. Despite his superior performance on the night Matthews suffered a highly controversial and most hotly disputed 12 - 11 point loss.

Matthews put together some powerful attacks against junior southpaw Yussaf Hussein of Audley who contributed to a well fought bout but did not possess the same punching power as his Newtown opponent.

Representing a North Wales select team against Cumbria & Lancashire Matthews found his range in the first round and, after a solid right uppercut near the end of the round, appeared to establish a lead. In the second round Hussein went on the back foot, seemingly unwilling to stand and trade against the powerful shots of Matthews. Matthews responded by putting more pressure on his opponent having some impact with his right cross leads. During the round Matthews continued to press forward and have the better of the exchanges. In the third round the more confident Matthews continued to find his range while initiating wave upon wave of attack, largely nullifying the counter punching of Hussein. Just before the final bell sounded Matthews cornered his opponent before unleashing a superb four punch combination that saw every punch rock back the head of his opponent. Matthew's final attack summed up his excellent performance on the night.

What happened next was somewhat confusing, a 12 - 11 points decision was given in favour of the Audley boxer. The decision was met with the disbelief of the North Wales boxing team and the disgust of the crowd. It was unfortunate however that the poor decision that led to such an angry reaction from the crowd detracted from the brave and game performance given by Hussein, and the excellent performance of Matthews. To add to the confusion Matthews was awarded the winner's trophy!

The decisions had been controversial all night, with coaching staff complaining to officials following several decisions both inside and outside the ring. The way that the computer scoring facility was used appeared to be at the heart of many of the problems on deciding some very dubious outcomes.

For Matthews, who had been previously selected to represent the North Wales select team, it represented an important stage in his impressive development so far this year. Already one of the most improved Newtown junior boxers, having only started fighting last year, this has demonstrated his huge potential to perform on the wider stage. Matthews is already being tipped as an exciting prospect for the future.