Boxers from Blackpool's Sharpstyle gym make winning debuts as Fleetwood middleweight suffers shock defeat

Highly-decorated Blackpool amateur Jake Abrol got his professional boxing career off to a winning start on Sunday.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 1:56 pm
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 2:00 pm

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The 18-year-old knocked out his Croatian opponent Ivan Njegac (12-19) in spectacular style in Bolton, recording a second round stoppage.

Abrol, who came through the ranks at his Dad Andy's Sharpstyle Boxing gym on Bagot Street, was delighted with his display.

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“I’m buzzing with that, I’m really happy,” the super-lightweight said.

“It’s been a long time coming because I’ve been waiting for this, so to get in there and let my hands go felt good.

“Everything went to plan, I put together all the things I’ve been working on. I’m really confident in my ability, so it was a perfect debut.

“The knockout didn’t feel rushed or forced, I just put my shots together and I felt composed in there.

Jake Abrol got his professional boxing career off to a winning start in Bolton on Sunday

“We’re looking at getting out again before the end of the year, but there’s no rush. Eventually, we want to be bringing boxing back to the Winter Gardens.

“It’s a realistic goal as well, it’s not like we’re just saying it for the sake of it. There’s no doubt in my mind it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

Abrol’s gym mate Tyrone Bowen-Price also made a winning start on his debut, beating Craig Sumner in a Blackpool derby.

Like Abrol, his victory also came via a second-round stoppage having landed a crushing bodyshot on his amateur rival.

Elsewhere, up-and-coming Fleetwood prospect Dan Catlin suffered a surprise first defeat of his career.

The middleweight, who had won all seven of his fights up until Saturday’s bout, was knocked out by Nathan Junor, who claimed just the second win of his 11-fight career.

According to Catlin, his opponent was a late replacement for another fighter that pulled out at the last minute and weighed almost two stone heavier.

“I learned a lesson on Saturday,” the 22-year-old said.

“I had the lad over and I smelt blood, so I went for the finish only to walk onto a shot myself.

“I had a cruiserweight down and nearly out, but I couldn’t quite produce the finish I needed. But that’s the game. The stakes are high and I knew it was a risky fight.

“The plan remains the same though.”

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