It was a highly emotional occasion when Porthmadog’s kickboxing king Marvin Pritchard won his latest British title belt.
Marvin defeated Gaz Lavin on points for the Thomas Wyn Memorial 80 kg championship at the Ultimate Fight Night show in Eirias Park Leisure Centre, Colwyn Bay, last night.
The title was fought for in honour of former kickboxer Thomas Richards (Tom), of Waunfawr and formerly of Harlech, who died on July 31 aged just 26.
Father-of-three Thomas was a boxer who had won his debut contest in April and also enjoyed success in open mat combat at WUMA in Colwyn Bay. He fought out of MPMA in Porthmadog, where his twin brother Antony also trains.
The loss of Thomas hit his family and friends and all the MPMA gym hard and as well as organising fund-raising activities in his memory, Saturday’s British title contest was fought under the name of the much-missed boxer.
It was a rematch, with Marvin having defeated Lavin for the UFN British Kickboxing 80kg title in summer 2018.
After another great battle between these two warriors, Pritchard was declared the winner by four rounds to one.
In a very touching moment, Marvin presented the Thomas Wyn Memorial belt to his twin brother Antony in the ring.
Antony later placed the belt on his brother’s gravestone.
After the bout, Marvin said: “It is an honour to win a British title belt in Tom’s name. It’s been a very busy year and I’m glad it’s over so I can concentrate on some family time now.”
It was a very successful night for MPMA, with debutant Katie Jones winning her first bout against Tammy Ward on points.
After experiencing the disappointment of some cancelled bouts, Katie was eager to go and boxed to her game plan perfectly to win her contest.
Harri Glyn of MPMA was also victorious, winning his match-up by an arm bar after two minutes.
Mixed night for Team Humph
While Cafan Humphreys enjoyed a victory for the Porthmadog-based Mad-Dog Gym on the Eirias bill, there were first defeats for Wayne Humphreys and Amy Kerrigan.
UBA Welsh heavyweight champion Wayne took up a late opportunity to face Stevie Wilkins from Gloucestershire for the UMA British heavyweight title.
Wayne, who was 4 and 0, was meeting an opponent with around 50 bouts on his record.
Nicknamed “Mr Pyjamas” due to the rather conspicuous pants he boxes in, Wilkins was originally scheduled to take on Wayne’s brother Ben for the title, However, Ben was unwell in the week of the bout and was forced to withdraw.
The plan was then for Ben’s twin Cafan to meet Wilkins, but that did not work out either, so it ended up as Wayne versus the Gloucestershire man.
Wayne was the more aggressive throughout, with Wilkins seemingly content to box at a low pace, throw occasional flurries and then try to stay out of distance.
On punches landed and quality of work, it appeared Wayne had done enough after five rounds to take the title by a 4-1 or 3-2 decision, but after a delay Wilkins was called the winner by a single point.
From what I saw, given more time to prepare, Wayne would beat Wilkins in a rematch and Cafan or Ben are capable of beating the Englishman too.
British heavyweight champion Cafan remains unbeaten after winning a three-round verdict over circuit regular Dan Pritchard (Gorilla MMA).
Cafan said: “Daniel came out with a very good guard. I think his plan was to last the three rounds. I didn’t have the energy to look for the knockout. We all had been feeling poorly all week – myself, Ben, Wayne and Amy. Not making excuses, but I think that showed on the night.”
On his brother Wayne’s loss, Cafan added: “Wayne stepped in, finding out at 6 pm that night that he was fighting in a five-round title fight. He was not 100% (health-wise), but in my opinion I think Wayne had that fight at least 3 or 4 rounds. I’m sure Wayne will want a rematch when he is prepared. And I don’t think he will be leaving it for the judges next time.”
Wayne is the first of the three multi-title holding Humphreys brothers to lose a contest, and Cafan added tongue-in-cheek: “He has taken a lot of pressure off me and Ben by losing first out of us.”
Amy had won her debut contest, but found the going tougher against the bigger Carrie Whitworth.
The bout was stopped in the second round with Amy already having taken one standing count from the effect of the heavy-hitting Whitworth’s punches.
To her credit, Amy threw plenty of shots herself, her speed forcing Whitworth onto the backfoot a couple of times. Amy will come on for this experience against a very good opponent.
The sporting manner of the pair was great to see, with Amy describing her opponent as “awesome”, while Carrie complimented Amy on her left-hook and said with more confidence and development she will do good things in the ring.
Coach Cafan said: “Amy lost to the better and bigger woman. She was fighting an experienced woman who was a lot heavier. Amy will walk away from that fight with a great experience and we will learn and move on from it.”
Ultimate Fight Night featured around 20 quality bouts covering all MMA disciplines. Hopefully more news to follow….