Homerton boxer and Clapton club are both winners

James Cook (second left) of Pedro ABC receives a cheque from the Matchroom Foundation Charity at Yor

James Cook (second left) of Pedro ABC receives a cheque from the Matchroom Foundation Charity at York Hall. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo - Credit: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Homerton’s England lightweight champion Ohara Davies was given a tough work-out as he boxed for the first time at light-welterweight against Hungary’s Zoltan Szabo at York Hall.

Both boxers went into the fight unbeaten on Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotion, with Davies boasting 11 wins and Szabo going into the contest on the back of nine victories of his own.

The Hackney boxer displayed patience at first against an opponent who had fast feet and good head movement – but not all of Davies’ punches were landing and he left himself open at times.

As the fight progressed, however, Davies landed hard left and right hooks and, once he got in close, he connected with uppercuts.

Szabo started to slow down, beginning to look hurt after taking some powerful hits, and in the fourth round a cut opened up over his eye following a right hook from Davies.

The fifth had only just begun when referee Jeff Hinds called the doctor in to take a closer look, and the fight was called off 25 seconds into the round, giving Davies the victory by technical knockout.

He told the Gazette: “In my last fight at lightweight I felt weak and I now feel stronger at light-welter. My opponent was strong and took some hard punches – he is the best fighter I have fought so far.”

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Clapton-based Pedro ABC were given a lifeline by the Matchroom Sports Foundation when Eddie Hearn handed a £5,000 cheque to James Cook MBE at York Hall.

The money changed hands as Anthony Joshua MBE, George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr, Anthony Ogogo and Conor Benn took part in a public work-out at the O2 Arena last Saturday.

Matchroom’s John Wischhusen told the Gazette: “When we put on big shows around the country we look for an amateur club that is desperately in need of money to keep it going, and with our big show in London the foundation has chosen Pedro ABC in Hackney.”

Cook added: “This cheque is a blessing in disguise. With the area we are based in, the insurance is high for our property and coaching.

“What is left over will help with our boxing, cricket and football teams – we play over on Hackney Marshes on Saturdays.”