IT was a good weekend for St Joseph’s boxing gym in Newport with victories for professionals Frankie Borg and Robbie Turley and amateur stars Sean McGoldrick and Joe Cordina.
Borg spoiled the party at Merthyr Leisure Centre on Friday night as he beat hometown hero Kerry Hope on points to successfully defend his Welsh middleweight title.
The 33-year-old St Joes fighter was delighted to have earned the 97-95 verdict over former European champion Hope and he’s now looking for a crack at the British title.
“I’m very happy,” he said. “It’s the biggest win of my career and I’ve proved a lot of people wrong.
“He’s the former European champion and I’ve beaten him in his own back yard.
“What more can I do? I want to step up now. I’ve gone the distance over ten rounds and I’m ready for bigger and better things.”
Turley finally returned to the ring after more than two years out with a 59-57 points win over Michael Ramabaletsa.
The 27-year-old Cefn Fforest fighter was disappointed with his rusty performance but he did well to ease past the tough South African.
“The win was all-important after being out for so long,” said the Welsh and Celtic super-bantamweight champion.
“Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. I wanted to pick up where I left off – shining and winning titles.
“That was only a shadow of the real Robbie Turley but he’s better than average and a win is a win.
“Next time I’m going to be dazzling because the rust has been polished now.”
Turley was forced into exile due to concerns over a routine brain scan and only returned to the sport he loves after a lengthy legal battle with the British Boxing Board of Control.
“There’s been so much pressure on me because there’s been £7,000 spent on me to get my licence back,” he said.
“A lot of people said I’d never box again and I probably put too much pressure on myself and tried to please my fans too much.
“I was trying to prove a point but I’m back now and I will be chasing titles.”
And McGoldrick and Cordina both booked their place in the Welsh Elite Championship Finals at the Cardiff House of Sport this Friday.
Commonwealth gold medalist McGoldrick beat David White of Arthur’s Gym in the semi-finals at the Rhondda Fach Leisure Centre in Tylerstown on Saturday.
He’ll take on Joshua John of Britton Ferry in the 56kg final on Friday, while Cordina will face Pembroke’s Nico Morrison in the 60kg final after he overcame Monty Lee of Steve Robinson’s gym in his semi.