BOXING: Brilliant Ben marks milestone in style

Ben Fail (left), pictured with his brother Carl
Ben Fail (left), pictured with his brother Carl
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Far Cotton southpaw Ben Fail marked his 50th bout by capturing the East Midlands middleweight belt in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

The 19-year-old from East Hunsbury took the belt from Jordan Cameron (Empire) on a unanimous points decision at the Festival Hall.

Fail and Cameron had met before, in the early stages of last season’s Elite championships.

Cameron was unhappy with the split points decision that went Fail’s way that afternoon, but had no complaints after the rematch between fighters who struck gold at the Haringey Box Cup during the summer.

Fail, cheered on by his club-mates including twin brother Carl and sponsor by Dean Port of Crystal Electronics, said he had to work hard for victory.

“He is a very tough kid,” he said. “He never took a backward step, but I thought I showed more class and skill.

“I definitely thought I hit him more than he hit me. It was tough, but I thought I won every round.”

Fail boxed well on the move in the opening round, then dug in when Cameron closed the gap in the second.

Fail appeared to be two up going into the last and made sure of victory in the final three minutes, landing
the cleaner punches throughout.

Club-mate Seb Brown missed out on capturing the East Midlands super-heavyweight belt on the show, losing unanimously to Ellis Machin, from Empire.

The opening round was close and Brown had Machin grabbing early in the second with a right uppercut. After his head had cleared, Machin, a strong, come forward fighter, got on top and he ended up winning on all the judges’ scorecards.

Conway turning professional

Kings Heath welterweight Kieron Conway has revealed he’s turning professional after next weekend’s fight at the cricket ground.

The 20-year-old tops the bill on his club’s show a week on Saturday (October 8) and after that, he’s ditching the vest to fight for money.

Conway seems likely to turn professional with the Macklins, headed by Matthew Macklin, the former world title challenger.

He will be at ringside in Northampton next week and Conway said: “I want to put on a show.

“Amateur boxing is a sport, but professional boxing is all about entertainment. I want to entertain and have good fights.”

Next weekend’s fight, possibly a rematch against Jordan Cameron, will be Conway’s 84th amateur bout.

He started boxing at 12 years old and struck gold at the Haringey Box Cup last summer, won a clutch of belts and as a senior, only Carl Fail has beaten him, on a split in last season's Elite championships on the way to winning the title.

Conway says: “It’s time for a new challenge.”

Conway will be joined in professional ranks by his father, James.

He is assistant coach at Kings Heath and is set to apply for a pro-am trainer’s license, enabling him to work with both professional and amateur fighters.

Conway is also matching next week’s show, which includes Eithan James, the club’s most decorated boxer following his silver medal at the European Schoolboy championships this summer, multi-titled Ben Vaughan and a good-looking super-heavyweight match.

Conroy Downer is paired with Solomon Dacres from Warley, who’s ranked in the top 10 domestically by Boxing News after winning Novice honours and reaching
the Elite semi-finals last season.

Sam Daly challenges Adam Sircar (Buxton) for his East Midlands belt and there will also be bouts in the Development championships on the show.

Adam Elliott from Kings Heath is among the entries in Class B at 75kgs.

Tickets for the show are available from Conway on 07919 344305.

Leeson back in the gym

Bare knuckle boxer Nathan Leeson is back in the gym preparing for a world-title fight after being crowned British champion in Coventry.

The promoters told the 29-year-old from Hardingstone he will challenge Kevin Bennett for the world title in Newcastle on November 5 after beating Scott Midgely in their rematch.

Leeson said: “I know Bennett is a good fighter, but when we stood head to head, I dwarfed him a bit. I believe if I box and move I can beat him.”

Leeson goes into the fight full of confidence after thrashing Midgely inside a couple of rounds.

Leeson had Midgely on the floor in the opening round and the referee waved it off in the second after a flurry of clean punches had Midgely wobbling again.