New champion Underwood flies the flag of St George

OUR CHAMPION! -- St George coaches Clint McPhilbin (right) and Rob Butler hail the club's new champion, Mark Underwood (centre). (PHOTO BY: Ryan Richards)
OUR CHAMPION! -- St George coaches Clint McPhilbin (right) and Rob Butler hail the club's new champion, Mark Underwood (centre). (PHOTO BY: Ryan Richards)

A thriving amateur boxing club in Hucknall saved one of the best until last when Mark Underwood landed a prestigious area title.

The St George club, based at the Peveril Street Community Centre, has basked in a season to remember under coaches Clint McPhilbin and Rob Butler.

They have successfully built up membership again, and have staged a tremendous live show, which was reported in last week’s Dispatch.

Now the 24-year-old Underwood has capped the season by grabbing the novice light-welterweight championship for the central area.

Less than two years after taking up boxing at the St George club, Underwood has been crowned a champion as he defeated Stuart Balfe, of Chesterfield, at a show held by Balfe’s club at Creswell in Derbyshire.

Underwood came out strongest in the opening round, catching the home fighter with strong jabs and a left hook.

In the second round, Balfe began to hold and spoil and was clearly unable to keep up with the Hucknall man’s workrate.

The third round was very messy, with Balfe continually holding and dropping his head. After further warnings, he was disqualified. He was not happy, but the referee had no option.

In the St George camp, the celebrations began after Underwood’s arm was raised aloft. His triumph capped a memorable week for Nottinghamshire boxing after the world title success of Carl Froch.