Frustration turned to joy for Kirkby-based Empire Amateur Boxing Club’s Ellis Machin after he became heavyweight champion 24 hours after being told he couldn’t box for the title as his scheduled opponent had pulled out.
Empire ABC’s head coach Richard Wheldon spent hours frantically searching for an available opponent and finally managed to get talented former champion Ross Hollis from Swadlincote to face Ellis for the vacant Central Heavyweight Championship belt at De Montfort Sports Hall in Evesham, Worcester.
And after a tactical start, Ellis (22) came out firing to win the bout on points.
“I’m over the moon to be champion” said Ellis.
“I’ve fought for this belt twice before but the results went against me.
“It was a hard night’s work and a close fight, but I think I won it in the final round.”
Ellis was one of three boxers representing Empire ABC on the show.
The club’s most experienced boxer Jordan Cameron (19), Notts and Lincs champion at 75kg, landed a whirlwind of punches to halt Daniel Johnson, of Northside Boxing Club, in the first round of his bout and Nick Cartwright (27) landed a picture-perfect right-hook to knockout local favourite Damien Webb midway through his debut bout.
Richard said: “Our team were the underdogs on the night but we’ve got a fantastic team spirit.
“The wins are testament to the boxers’s training and dedication.”
Ellis’s title win means there’s now three boxing champions in the club’s revamped gym on Redcliffe Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, as Neil Huntley (36) a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter, who now trains and leads his own ‘Strike or Submit’ MMA Team on the gym’s top floor, is semi-pro Area Cruiserweight champion.
A rib cracking body hook won him the belt on a recent show in Alfreton.
Neil said: “In March I boxed to raise money for the family of my friend Phillip Dawn who recently passed away and I decided to fight again after I got offered a title fight.
“I can’t thank enough my sponsors, Haunted Events UK, and Richard, who’s taught me alot.”
The Redcliffe Street gym is open all day Monday to Friday. Facilities include sunbed, massage and weights rooms. Boxing and fitness classes are available and Richard can be contacted on 07968 369342.