Despite facing constant challenges and escalating costs, the unsung heroes of British boxing continue to keep the sport moving. 

Over the course of the weekend, promoters staged 10 shows and 90 fights across the country. Only the Wasserman show featuring the European super welterweight title fight between Abass Baraou and Sam Eggington was televised. 

In Leeds, Liam Taylor (27-2-1, 14 KOs) stayed on track for a shot at the British welterweight title by forcing Sam O’Maison (18-7-1, 7 KOs) to retire after just a single round.

The heavy-handed Taylor dropped the Sheffield southpaw with a perfectly timed straight right hand less than a minute into the fight and went for the finish. 

Taylor did take a couple of clean punches in return as O’Maison dug in and tried to fire back but they had little effect and the Manchester fighter’s shots were heavier. O’Maison retired before the start of the second round citing a perforated ear drum. 

The 32-year-old Taylor has been waiting for a second crack at the British title since having to settle for an unfortunate technical draw with the then-champion Chris Jenkins back in 2019. He will have to wait a little longer. The present belt holder Harry Scarff is set to fight Ukraine’s Karen Chukhadzian in a final eliminator for the IBF title but Taylor deserves his chance.

The talented Jack Bateson is now campaigning at featherweight and took on the tough Darwing Martinez.

Bateson is a tidy, come forward fighter but of all of the Nicaraguans who ply their trade on the British small hall circuit, Martinez is the best. He set his feet, waited for Bateson to get close, and let his hands go. It wasn’t plain sailing for the 29 year old from Leeds but by the fourth round his quality began to show. He established a measure of control and eventually boxed his way to a six-round victory. The score was 58-56.

After the fight, Bateson sat in the changing room nursing a damaged right hand. The injury happened during the final 10 seconds of the fight and after boxing only once in 2023, the 29 year old former English super bantamweight champion will be hoping that the injury isn’t serious and that he can build momentum towards another title shot.

Across the Pennines in Bolton, Jack Flatley (21-5-2, 4 KOs) and Ryan Amos (12-1-2, 2 KOs) headlined Steve Wood’s VIP show and put on a hard-fought non-title 10 rounder. 

Flatley is now trained by Martin Murray and the former English super welterweight champion is looking for a way back into title contention while the short, powerful Amos is a former Midlands Area champion at 154lbs.

Flatley likes to work inside – at time to his detriment – and Amos is never going to take a backward step and the fight quickly became a head-to-head inside battle with both fighters looking to unload short punches. 

The momentum swung one way and then the other and although there wasn’t too much clean, quality work it was an absorbing battle. After 10 rounds the fighters had to settle for a draw. The score was 95-95; both fighters will have to sit down and work out a way forwards.

VIP prospects Joe Howarth (9-1, 4 KOs) and Hashim Rehman (7-1) weren’t originally supposed to fight each other. During the week opponent issues meant that the show needed to be rearranged and so – on just two days notice – Howarth and Rehman were offered the opportunity to stay on the show and fight each other. To both fighters’ credit, they jumped at the chance. 

The six rounder was closely contested but Howarth was always a step ahead. He was his usual aggressive self but boxed smartly. Rehman got Howarth’s respect with his boxing ability but just didn’t carry the power to halt his march and Howarth picked his punches nicely. After six rounds he was given a 60-54 decision which seemed a little harsh to Rehman but there was no doubt about who deserved to win.

The 21 year old from Wigan is talented. He burst on to the scene as a teenager and his aggressive, heavy-handed style quickly attracted a large fan base. He recorded seven wins in his first year as a pro and was then matched with the unbeaten Josh Sandford. That night in Wigan felt like the potential break out of a future star, but Howarth put in a lacklustre display and lost to the slick Scot. On Saturday night he returned to form and put in the most well-rounded performance of his career. 

In the midlands, Carl Greaves sold 1,600 tickets for his 11 fight bill at the Leicester Arena. The hometown favorite Stanley Stannard’s Midland’s Area super-welterweight fight with the unbeaten Ashlee Eales headlined but the fans went home disappointed. After 10 close rounds Eales (10-0, 3 KOs) took a tight decision – the score was 96-95 – and the title. Standard (10-2, 4 KOs) will need to regroup. Maybe a local derby with Ryan Amos would provide both fighters with a route back towards British title level.

“It was a great show for a promoter and for the punters,” Greaves told Boxing Scene. “Result-wise for a manager it wasn’t the greatest. We put them in proper fights.

"Stannard could have gone either way. I’m not gonna argue with the result and Ashlee got it by a point in a close fight. He just didn’t do enough. He could have nicked it but just didn’t quite do enough. Ashlee is tall, long and awkward with a bit of power and made it awkward for Stan. He had his moments but just wasn’t busy enough. He could have won convincingly but just didn’t deserve it in the end, really. It’s a shame because he puts a lot into it but it just wasn’t to be.”

The popular Callum Blockey (11-0-1, 2 KOs) stayed unbeaten but had to settle for a draw after 10-hard rounds with Jacob Quinn (8-3-1) at super welterweight. The score was 95-95. Greaves didn’t complain about the result and it does sound like Blockey should have learned plenty from his night’s work. 

“I thought Callum did enough to be honest,” he said. "It was another very close competitive fight. A draw was probably about right but it was a great fight. I knew Jacob Quinn would come and have a go. He’s tough and determined. Blockley's got the skills but got dragged into a fight. He was in the pocket too much and when he was in there he wasn’t worn enough but when he was on the outside he was dominating. I thought he’d done enough but i’m not arguing with a draw.”

Also on the show, former British super featherweight title challenger Lyon Woodstock returned to action with a decision victory over Tatenda Magombe and CJ Challenger outpointed the tough Serge Ambomo over six.