MAXI Hughes retained his unbeaten record in a thrilling draw with Ronnie Clark at Doncaster Dome, writes Liam Hoden.
The gruelling stalemate was the highlight of an excellent night of boxing as former Conisbrough pro Stefy Bull promoted his first card.
Clark also brought an unbeaten record to the ring and both fighters deserve praise for gambling the ‘0’ so early in their careers.
Despite the high stakes, nothing was held back from either man and they threw everything they had at each other.
Rossington’s Hughes made a strong start and his smart shot selection neutralised a rather one dimensional approach from his opponent.
Clark soon found his feet and the two traded hefty shots while Hughes suffered a bad cut to his left brow.
Doncaster referee Howard Foster raised both men’s hands at the end but this writer thought Hughes had done enough.
There was also a draw for Gavin McDonnell after a testing contest with former top amateur Ashley Lane.
McDonnell faced pressure from the off and struggled to find space in the early stages.
He did settle in the middle rounds and rattled Lane on a couple of occasions with impressive right hooks.
McDonnell came into his own in the last round and bossed the centre of the ring with his jab, providing a preview of what twin brother Jamie would do in his European title defence the night after.
A 38-38 decision from referee Foster left the Hatfield bantamweight to rue not taking control earlier.
Connor Nixon made it two wins from two despite giving up half a stone to tough Scotsman Ryan McNicol.
Hatfield’s Nixon looked nervy from the off and seemed much more keen on getting out of the way of a potential counter rather than landing his own shot first.
But he settled down in the latter two rounds, demonstrating some intelligent shot selection while his phenomenal speed denied any inroads for McNicol.
It was enough for Nixon to earn a 40-37 points win.
Woodlands’ former military man Ste Mac made a winning start to his pro career with a 40-36 victory over Steve Spence.
Mac commanded the centre of the ring and had no trouble from Spence but will need to up his offensive workrate in future bouts.
At the top of the bill, Rotherham’ Tommy Coward stopped Jay Morris after five rounds. There were also wins for Mexborough-trained duo Andy Townend and Robbie Barrett.