Malik marks his pro debut with home show victory

Chris 'Spartan' Davies in action against Andy Bishop on the HighRize show.
Chris 'Spartan' Davies in action against Andy Bishop on the HighRize show.

A 31-fight bonanza took place at Dunstable Conference Centre on Saturday.

HighRize, Luton’s new promotions company, partnered with JE Promotions to put on 27 amateur and four professional bouts in front of a crowd of more than 500 fans.

The event, entitled The Uprizing, saw the return of professional boxing to the area for the first time in a decade.

The afternoon involved youth and novice amateur action as well as senior bouts, where standout fighter Lyas White (Ringcraft) claimed a hard-fought win over Ben Stone of Hayes ABC.

Debutant Ali Malik made his mark in the professional ranks in the evening show, recording a 40-37 win over Islington’s Jordan Grannum.

The well-supported Malik showed no nerves as he let his hands go, landing crisply on the awkward Grannum, who chose to retreat.

The Luton fighter grew in confidence as the rounds ticked by, trading blows with his opponent in the final three minutes.

Lewsey Farm’s Josh Gooding made it 2-0 with a comprehensive win over Southwark’s Victor Edagha, showing his trademark flair as he outfoxed his opponent in the early stages and wobbled him with a crunching left in the second. He repeated the same shot in the third and this time Edagha could not stay up, taking a standing eight count.

In the final round the pair landed equally, but the night belonged to Gooding, who took it 40-37.

Top of the bill was Liam Conroy-trained Chris ‘Spartan’ Davies, who earned a 60-54 shutout over Rochdale’s Andy Bishop.

Davies moved to 13-0 and was unlucky not to chalk up a second knockout win against the durable Bishop.

The Londoner’s power was clear for all to see as the sound of each body shot rang around the arena and his opponent winced and covered up.

At the halfway point it appeared that the contest would be finishing early, but to his credit the Lancashireman held out, his face visibly damaged at the final bell.

HighRize co-founder Matty Earles said: “It was an incredible day and night, 27 amateur bouts and four pro fights is unprecedented for a boxing event.

“There are a few things we need to tweak but we are already putting things in place for early March and we are going to be back with a bigger and better show for the fans.”