Errol Johnson of Black Country Boxing Promotions hosted a dinner show at the Holiday Inn, Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham, last night. The show, billed as ‘the Next Step’ featured three contests.
There were wins for all three home boxers: brothers Tom and Josh Stokes of West Bromwich and Leon Gower of Burton-on-Trent.
Middleweight Tom Stokes stopped opponent Paul Hilz of Rochford in 2.43 minutes of round 2 to win the Classic Challenge Belt, while brother Josh secured a 40-36 points victory over Middleton’s Curtis Gargano.
Leon Gower stopped Jack Summers in round 5 of their scheduled eight round contest for the British Challenge Featherweight Belt.
The event included an auction and after dinner guest speaker – Former IBF World Cruiserweight Champion – Glenn McCrory.
Tom Stokes (West Bromwich) v Paul Hilz (Rochford, Essex)
8 x 3 Contest Middleweight Contest
Tattooed Hilz dips low and targets Stokes’s torso with long-reaching punches, Stokes uses a variety of punches but uses lefts and rights to the head with regularity. In round 2, a right hook to the head sees Hilz sat back on the ropes. Moments later he is under a barrage of shots from Stokes and cannot get away from his punches. Referee Messer jumps in to stop the contest in 2 minutes 43 seconds of the second round.
Leon Gower (Burton-on-Trent) v Jack Summers (West Bromwich)
8 x 3 Featherweight Contest
A good matchup between these two, with Gower seeming to land more and more punches as the fight progressed. At 2 minutes (exactly) of round 5 Referee Shaun Messer stopped the contest with Summers under too much pressure. Backed against the ropes – Summers is subjected to a barrage of shots which sees his knees dip.
Josh Stokes (West Bromwich) v Curtis Gargano (Middleton)
4 x 3 Light-Heavyweight Contest
Stokes piles on the pressure at the end of round two and Gargano is under a barrage of shots. He survives the onslaught and whoops (as if to congratulate himself on getting through it). Both men are told off this round – Stokes for low blows twice and Summers for hitting side of glove. Summers sustains a cut to the left eye area in round three. The sharp body-punching by Stokes earns him the 40-36 shutout victory.