Guernsey Press

Bill-topper Gogercaks takes final bout win for the team

RUSLAN GOGERCAKS made the most of his first bill-topping appearance at Beau Sejour.

Ruslan Gogercaks overcame Jamie Carrick in the headline bout of the season opener. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 32671033)

The popular Latvian won via unanimous decision against Jamie Carrick in the final bout of Saturday’s season-opening show, but despite that the Sarnians were edged 7-6 overall by RAF and Yorkshire opposition.

Gogercaks had the height disadvantage in this welterweight battle of ranged jabs but used his patience throughout, landing several big hits and outpointing his opponent.

He was ‘super happy’ with the result after topping the bill, with Billy Le Poullain taking time out and the expected headliner Tommy Teers not getting a match.

‘Billy used to be top of the bill, and the pressure was on, but I’m glad to win,’ he said.

‘I think it was a close win. I always fight taller opponents, so I had to learn eventually.’

Gogercaks showed humility in taking it as a win for the team rather than individually, then thanking the supportive crowds in Sir John Loveridge Hall.

‘Thank you for the big support from everyone who showed up – it helps boxers who step in the ring to show their best and win.’

With many of Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club’s biggest names absent, it was a show of future potential from several up-and-coming pugilists.

A 12-year-old Liam Duff demonstrated his promise by outpointing Zach Marshall in their minimum-weight contest.

Welterweight Joe Conlon marked his debut by overwhelming Jack Allen early on, causing the RAF team to throw in the towel.

Fellow debutant Tyler Quintal competed in the same weight class against Vilson Uragboe and got the nod after a good, very close contest.

Kody Domaille and Arnie Watson had both taken losses by that point, followed by Joanna Wheatley in an unfortunate end to her super-flyweight clash against Jennifer Sabine.

Wheatley held her own before going down suddenly in the third round and the fight being stopped. She received medical attention before getting up and being taken to hospital. She is understood not to be seriously hurt.

Emile Prevel gave Ryan Mills a standing count with a head shot in the first minute of their bantamweight contest, and continued dominating, but the fight was called off midway through round two when the Sarnian began bleeding from a nasty cut after an accidental clash of heads. A points decision followed and Prevel still won – unanimously.

Middleweight Martins Kublickis’ duel against Andrew Cutting also came to an early end.

The Guernsey boxer dropped his opponent in round one of a tough inside fight and battled superbly until deep into the second, when he knocked out Cutting’s mouthguard only to receive a standing eight count amid the confusion.

That led to a referee-stops-contest loss for Kublickis, which attracted pockets of vocal disagreement but stood regardless.

Guernsey’s spirits were raised when Cameron Hards fought three rough, competitive rounds at cruiserweight against Carl Harper and earned a split decision victory.

Finn Walsh, super-heavyweight Dan Maree and Jay Wilson featured in entertaining bouts but all suffered points losses as the blue corner worked up a lead. Gogercak’s fine victory proved merely consolatory for the red corner.

GABC coach Liam Doherty praised his team’s strong performances throughout and described Kublickis’ loss as ‘contestable’.

Doherty, a former boxer who turned to coaching a year ago, looks forward to the season developing.

‘There’s big excitement around boxing in general,’ he said.

‘The club is strong, lots of up-and-coming boxers.

‘A few strong wins tonight, a few close losses, and we’re just looking to capitalise on a great show.

‘We’ve got a show in November, and then we’ve got another one in February, and yeah, we’re going to be even more fighting fit after that.’