BOXING: Heath duo Conway and Vaughan impress at York Hall

Kieron Conway

Kieron Conway

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Kieron Conway and Ben Vaughan kick-started Kings Heath ABC’s new season in style with two clear-cut victories at the York Hall in the east end of London.

Vaughan showed his usual tenacity as he overcame the tall and awkward Liam Dineth (Wiseman Boxing) over three rounds dominant rounds in an England title eliminator.

The Kings Heath fighter set his stall out to claim another significant title as he makes the transition from youth to senior in the competitive 64kg category.

Vaughan’s quality trademark body shots and fitness proved to be the deciding factor as he punished Dineth throughout the three rounds, marred by his opponent’s constant holding.

And Conway also proved to be a cut above as he got the better of a very brave Jordan Cameron (Empire), who gave everything in an attempt to subdue the Kings Heath boxer in the England title final eliminator.

Conway countered every attack with a terrific variety of shots and had the last say in the exchanges with punishing right hooks and some telling uppercuts putting the game Cameron on the back foot, and a superb last round sealed a notable win early in the season.

“Kieron now has the dilemma of going professional or having one more season within the amateur ranks,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.

“Three serious managers have offered him a deal and one of them is a top-drawer outfit that cannot be ignored.

“He wants to go pro with the team that has helped him throughout his amateur career, and Kings Heath respect him for that rare commodity of loyalty in boxing.

“But, in reality, his last bout will be on our own show at Northampton Cricket Ground on Saturday, October 8.

“The offer on the table is probably too good to refuse, which is a pity as there were a couple of bouts that the club were particularly looking forward to within the amateurs.

“But we do want to not stop sensible progress and after 81 bouts, Kieron has done his bit for Kings Heath over the last 10 years.

“His style is and will be very much suited to the pro ranks.”

Kings Heath expect to have a full bill of their own boxers on the show next month.

Tickets are available through the club, or James Conway on 07919344305.

Bareknuckle boxing has a long history and over a century ago, Northampton produced a world champion, writes MATTHEW BOZEAT.

Joe Goss grew up in The Mounts before leaving for America to pursue his prizefighting career and he won the world heavyweight title in 1876.

The sport is currently enjoying a revival – and a Northampton fighter is one of its stars.

Nathan Leeson has had four straight wins since ditching his gloves and the 29 year old roofer from Hardingstone meets Scott Midgeley in a rematch for the BKB super-middleweight title in Coventry on Saturday night.

There will be a crowd of around 2,000 at the Sports Connexion to see them fight.

“The sport has grown so much in the last couple of years,” said Leeson, “and it’s still growing.

“Every show is selling out and I’m convinced it’s going to be as big as MMA.

“People think bareknuckle boxing is brutal and underground, but the shows are well run and it’s safer than boxing.

“Boxers take round after round of punishment, but in bareknuckle boxing, if someone hits you cleanly, you’re going to sleep.”

Leeson isn’t the easiest to catch cleanly.

He developed his slippery style at Northampton ABC where he started to box when he was 20 years old after a wayward youth.

Leeson won Midlands ABA Novice honours as an amateur before switching to fight in the Queensbury Boxing League on Eurosport.

“I got a really bad decision when I fought for the British title on a Queensbury show,” said Leeson. “And I thought bareknuckle boxing would be a new buzz.

“I enjoy the thrill of it.”

Leeson beat Midgeley on his bareknuckle debut – and they meet again for the British title this weekend.

“He says I thumbed him in the eye, but the truth is, I broke him down mentally,” said Leeson, who says four-year-old son Remmy is ‘boxing crazy’. “He just couldn’t hit me.

“He has had a couple of knock-out wins since we fought and now he thinks he can beat me. He’s wrong !

“I’m too smart and clever for him. I know he can punch, but I’m not going to stand in front of him and let him hit me.”

Tickets for the show in Coventry are available from 07525-591442