Darlington to stage first North-East show of 2019, starring John Green

Steve Wraith hopes ‘D Day in Darlo’ will will deliver the perfect start to North-East boxing’s 2019 calendar.

The Geordie fight figure, who teamed up last year with Phil Jeffries in a black & white and red & white promotion alliance, has chosen Darlington as his opening location on Saturday, February 23.

Steve Cooper, Ellis Corrie, John Green and ‘debutant’ Daryll Hall, will climb through the ropes at the Dolphin Centre.

“It’s all down to geography really,” Wraith told punch-lines. “All the lads are from that area and will sell more tickets for a show on their patch.

“Jaffa and me have a big show coming up in March and the Summer Rumble is booked for further down the line.

“But this is a nice curtain-raiser to start the year.

“It’s a four bout dinner show, which probably reflects how costs are escalating in the sport, it’s not easy for a promoter these days.

“This is a way of keeping the costs down, but there are four good lads on and hopefully there will be some decent matches.”

Intimate but intriguing is one way of viewing it given the journey each boxer is  on.

Green (pictured above left with Lewis Ritson) is on the comeback trail and this will be his second bout back after a three-year absence.

The Middlesbrough lightweight, who boxes out of Pete Shepperson’s flourishing Darlington gym, stopped Belfast’s Alec Bazza in the third of a scheduled six rounds in Dunston last September and will go again over six at the Dolphin Centre.

Cooper is a fighter who always gives it his all and he will enjoy a home date over four rounds.

Corrie’s appearance will be eagerly anticipated after a frustrating period.

Darlington’s former Thai boxer made an impressive start under the Marquess of Queensberry’s rules with two wins in the North-East and then performed well on the road in a narrow defeat to unbeaten Welsh prospect Maredudd Thomas.

He was up for an eight-round North-East derby with Basi Razak in May, only for the Geordie to pull out minutes before their contest was due to start in the Dolphin Centre. Injuries have kept him out since but he is back and raring to go.

So too is Hall, who is performing without John Oates (if you are under the age of 40, ask your parents).

A well-known North-East footballer who after taking part in unlicensed contests is relishing performing under the British Boxing Board of Control auspices. He is expected to operate around the cruiserweight mark.

Words: Roy Kelly

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