Liam Griffiths grabbed his first pro win in a rough, tough tear-up with seasoned warhorse Johnny Greaves.
The Bognor prospect got Greaves hot under the collar on the way to victory in their show opener at Portsmouth’s Liquid and Envy nightclub.
The Londoner has seen it all in a long career in the game but was needled by the Bognor man’s in-your-face tactics.
That proved a ringing endorsement of the 24-year-old’s performance as he grabbed a 39-38 points win on perfect day for him.
Griffiths said: “He’s a tough portsider and came to win this one rather than survive. He was trying to get into my head, but I’m not the type to be intimidated by that.
“In the end it was him who was moaning to the ref, which is a good sign really.
“I’m a big Pompey fan so with us both getting wins things couldn’t have gone better. Hopefully it’s a new beginning for us both!”
The 24-year-old was the stronger and fitter man and matched all of the Londoner’s rough-house tactics.
Seeing Greaves moaning to the referee is a rarity and showed how well Griffiths performed in a crowd-pleasing tear-up.
Griffiths, who was congratulated by Pompey and South Africa footballer Aaron Mokoena after his victory, added: “Johnny Greaves came to fight – he had a documentary team following him. He really wanted to win.
“He’s a tough customer, as you would expect from someone who has been in the ring with a world champion as good as Gavin Rees.
“It made my win more rewarding, especially as so many fans travelled from Bognor to give me such marvellous support.”
Two other Observer-area fighters were on the bill.
Chichester’s Jonathan Fry chalked up his first pro win at the fourth time of asking against Ashley Lane.
The 20-year-old had decent backing from his supporters and didn’t disappoint as he got the victory under his belt. The ref stopped the contest in the third after Lane suffered a cut.
Meanwhile Bognor’s Alex Gibbens beat Simone Lucas 40-36 on points.
Gibbens won every round on the way to his middleweight success over Lucas, who ensured he didn’t have it all his own way.
Gibbens looked fairly slick as he did enough to send a healthy following home happy, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
– JORDAN CROSS