Sanctionedfight night a knockout

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Douglas McDonnell in blue won the fight.
Camera IconDouglas McDonnell in blue won the fight. Credit: Alexander Scott

It’s not every night boxers in Port Hedland get the chance to compete in a sanctioned event, but that was the case on Saturday at the Pilbara Fight Night.

Taking place at Wanangkura Stadium, the event was hosted by local boxing club Unit 2 Boxing and had three sanctioned fights and five exhibition matches.

Perth boxer Ben McDonnell dominated local boxer Taylor Coffin, with the referee stopping the bout in the first round.

McDonald was the sharper striker, overwhelming Coffin with precise punches that led to two standing eight counts.

After another blitz had Coffin in trouble, the referee called a stop to the bout. McDonnell said it was bittersweet to get the victory because he was friends with Coffin.

“I was confident — I had been training hard, and Taylor finds it hard to get sparring up here, but hopefully this motivates him,” he said. “He’s got the skill set and he’s really talented.”

McDonnell has been boxing for 10 years and said more events in the North West were needed.

Referee Derrick Avia said the bout was stopped to protect the fighters.

“The job of the ref is to protect the boxers at all times — the red corner had quite a number of blows that he had a standing eight for the first time, and about 30 seconds later, there was another series of blows and a second standing eight count,” he said. Avia said the fighter responded to him verbally, but after an accumulation of head shots led to a third count, the fight had to be stopped.

Unit 2 Boxing’s John Van Maanen said the event was a success with a larger crowd than the fight night last year. “There’s no use training to be a boxer if there is no competition — we need to have a competition to keep the kids training,” he said.

The event also featured boxers from the Kimberley with Derby’s top fighters taking part in the event, including Liam Gordon, who won his sanctioned bout by unanimous decision.

“The interaction between the different Towns and the kids from the same age group they are making friends for life,” Van Maanen said.

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