EGLWSWRW teenager Emyr Simmons scored a sensational revenge victory over Bridgend’s Bradley Pearce at Cardigan ABC’s show at Newcastle Emlyn RFC on Friday night.
What made the first victory of Simmons’ career all the more impressive was that he had dropped a clear points decision to Pearce at Cardigan’s previous show at Mathry in November.
“We were struggling to get Emyr an opponent but when I told him Pearce was the only one available Emyr agreed to the match in a heartbeat,” said Cardigan coach Guy Croft.
“It says a lot for the boy’s character that he was prepared to jump straight back in with an opponent who had given him a bit of a hiding just three months earlier.”
Simmons took the fight to Pearce from the opening bell, rattling up a clear points lead with a combination of two-handed attacks and slick movement. Although Pearce seemingly possessed the great firepower, Simmons was clearly ahead at the end of the session.
Visibly gaining in confidence, the Cardigan boy extended his lead in the second and, despite tiring towards the end of the third, had obviously done enough to snatch a narrow points verdict which earned him the best Cardigan boxer of the night award.
“Emyr’s a dedicated trainer in the gym which is one reason he’s improved so much,” added Croft. “We worked on his power going into this bout, tried to make him come forward more and he was a different Emyr.”
Crymych rugby player Llion Harries looked odds-on to emulate Simmons’ victory only to be caught by a right hook thrown by fellow debutante Brandon Miles (Premier ABC) which sent him stumbling into the ropes in the second round of their rip-roaring encounter.
Harries – boxing in the town where his grandfather, Jim Davies, fought Gloucester’s Johnny Williamson in Ron Taylor’s fairground booth back in 1961 – appeared to be working his way back into the contest when a fusillade of punches brought the second intervention of referee Mark Smith who gave the Cardigan man the full count after he failed to fully raise his gloves.
“Llion started at 100 mph and ran out of gas,” said Croft. “He’s a very fit boy but used up a lot of nervous energy in that first round. He won’t box again this season – we need to get back to basics and make sure he gets more varied sparring.”
Cardigan ABC’s Corey Hayes lost to Trostre’s Kori Lewis while Mathry’s Tom Morris comfortably saw off Bilal Mohammed (Prince of Wales ABC) and Cardigan heavyweight Dan Butler dropped a points decision to Trostre’s Oliver Didcott.
Welsh schoolboy champ Garan Croft and British Youth finalist Peter Price boxed high-class exhibitions against Liam Reynolds (Premier) and Morgan McIntosh (Baglan Bulldogs) respectively.
Cardigan’s former Welsh international Ben Rees-Davies took on the role of compere at short notice and introduced Cardigan ABC president Chris Lawson to the crowd at the interval before delivering an unexpected but much-appreciated warm tribute to his old coach.