Review: Fight Night Redemption

Words and images by Beccy Davies

This is Craig Maynard’s show and I had heard good reviews about it. Set in Patchway Sports Centre, Bristol, it wasn’t too far away from me and seeing as Andree Warbrick v Linzi Edwards was the main event I just had to witness these two ladies fighting each other for the World Title as I knew it would be a war; and a war it turned out to be.

Cherie Buck came along with me as she had been partaking in some sparring sessions with Andree and had the same interest in this fight, as I had previously written an article on Linzi, so we both knew what an excellent match up this was.

We both arrived early and introduced ourselves to Craig, who considering had lots of pull-outs and stress seemed relatively calm. He then showed us where we would be sitting, at the judge’s table ringside, and after a quick catch up with the MC for the night, Jonathan Millard, and a nice surprise to see my old Muay Thai coach Lee Power, we took our place and waited for the event to start.

The referee was a man called Mike Melgrave who happened to be the man that refereed my first boxing match 6 years ago, and subsequently happened to be the man who later spoiled my evening, 6 years later on this very night, with the strangest behaviour I had the misfortune to be a target of.

The line up on the card, 5 Boxing bouts, 3 C Class Muay Thai fights and 1 World Title K1 Rules fight, but starting us off was a Junior ‘N Class’ Thai bout that had two 9 year males battling it out. Josh Newson v Jake Faulkner was an interesting fight, with Josh clearly taking the lead in all 3 rounds and showing fighting spirit at such a young age with very able strikes, clinches and knees resulting in a referees stoppage from a strong throw, resulting in a win for Josh Newson.

With some good boxing and Muay Thai bouts to follow up and a 30-min interval, we came to the second half of the show where Richard Padfield v Lee Dorrington started the proceedings off with a nice fast and furious boxing bout, resulting in a referee’s stoppage in the second round with a win for Richard Padfield.

The next fight was a C Class Muay Thai fight between Naing Htut and Ben Dighton. This was a very good display of head kicks, clinches and knees and all was going well until, on the 1 min time out, the referee came over the top of the rope and started shouting at me! Something about being impartial if I am judging; to which I sat aghast and mortified and trying to explain that I wasn’t judging, I was writing. He then carried on officiating the fight until the next 1 min time out, then went over to the opposite side and did the same to a man sitting on an opposite table. Now, I can’t speak for the man opposite me, but our guess was that the people shouting behind me were the object of his wrath; but he decided in his time of power to shout at me, and as I assured him after the fights, I had my head buried in my writing pad, as he issued me with a very sheepish apology.

After that very silly moment, it was time for the fight we had all been waiting for, the Women’s Title Fight, with Linzi Edwards walking out wearing the scariest, most serious game face I have ever seen. This was the WRSA Super Bantamweight K1 Rules World Title Fight between Linzi Edwards and Andree Warbrick, with both ladies bringing VIP tables of support and whole lot of atmosphere, it happened to be one of the best female fights I’ve witnessed live at an event.

Linzi started off strong with a flurry of strikes and combinations, and you would think that after each round, Linzi would become more tired; but no, Linzi would come in at the start of every round strong, with Andree taking some strong shots to the head and body, and still coming forward. This was a class 5-round battle of power and strength v determination and courage. With some lovely strong combinations from Linzi and sheer determination from Andree, this made for a beautiful K1 battle, one that both ladies should be proud of, resulting in Linzi getting the decision win.

The whole show was a display of nice local talent and I know Craig Maynard said this wasn’t his best show, but I found it a good local event. Well done to MC Jonathan Millard who did a fine job and I wish Craig all the best in future shows.