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Wednesday, 03 June 2015

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Barrow boxer Liam can shine on Gray day

LIAM Conroy will aim to get his promising boxing career back on track when he enters the ring for the fourth time as a professional against the experienced Kieron Gray.

Barrow ABC ace Conroy has been champing at the bit to put a controversial defeat against Gilson De Jesus in December behind him, and in customary fashion he has been training hard in readiness for what he hopes will be a productive 2013. The 20-year-old middleweight won his first two pro bouts convincingly over four rounds, before narrowly losing his first six-round contest on points to De Jesus.

The Gray fight will be another six-rounder, on the undercard to Curtis Woodhouse’s light welterweight clash against Shayne Singleton at Coldwell Boxing’s War of the Roses show at Bowlers, Manchester, on Friday, March 8.

Gray, an experienced 35-year-old from Telford, has won five, drawn one, and lost 11 of his 17 professional bouts. He is said to be a tough customer, having only been stopped twice – including last time out against Prince Arron, who is one of the top five ranked middleweights in Britain.

Barrow ABC coach Jeff Moses said: “Kieron Gray has been in with Prince Arron, so it will be a good test. Liam’s good to go now. It’s another six-rounder, so he’s straight back in at the deep end.”

Moses was delighted with the displays of some of the Brook Street gym’s young amateurs at the weekend, when they donned the gloves in the 27th annual Furness and South Lakeland Group of Freemasons show at the Cumbria Grand Hotel.

Ross Cooksey underlined his potential for following training partner Conroy into the pro ranks by claiming the North West Region 60kg Open belt, gaining a unanimous verdict against Ali Tawick, of Amir Khan’s Gloves ABC, over three rounds. The victory is good preparation for the senior ABAs next month, where Cooksey, 20, will be looking to enhance his reputation and his pro credentials, in the 57-60 kilo category.

Also set to compete in the ABAs is stablemate Steve Eilbeck, who was also triumphant at the Grange show. The 18-year-old won his first senior contest and the North West Region 52kg Under-20s belt by defeating Denver Jackson, also from Gloves ABC.

“Ross gave away about half a stone to take on that bout, which is the maximum allowance,” said Moses. “The lad he boxed has just won the U20s senior ABAs, he’s a national champion.

“It was a good win. They came there with a weight advantage, fresh off the back of winning those championships and thinking they were going to do Ross, and give him his due, he looked class, he put it all together.”

Moses missed Barrow ABC youngster Levi McMeekin’s points defeat to Cleator Moor’s Cameron Bagley due to family commitments, but saw Paul O’Reilly unlucky to lose a majority verdict to an opponent from Salford.

Barrow ABC was co-founded by ex-pro, the late Frank Skyrme senior, and four generations of the Skyrme family have been involved with the club down the years.

lTickets for the War of the Roses show at Bowlers Exhibition Centre are available direct from Liam Conroy, at £30 each, contact 07429 188216.

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