BOXING: MICHAEL Blackmore, whose promising amateur career was cut short by a nightclub attack, is back in action.
Indeed, all four Winsford boxers booked to appear on Friday charity dinner show at the Civic Hall are in good form.
The quartet appeared on the bill at Stoke and, though he lost, Blackmore pronounced himself satisfied with his comeback bout.
He was in line for Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games trials when he was attacked and, due to the extent of his injuries, he had to hang up his gloves. But Blackmore, now 21, returned to the ring to ease out his rustiness.
Dad Tommy, also the Winsford ABC coach, said: 'Overall he was pleased, considering it has been nearly three years since he has boxed.
'His timing was out and his legs felt heavy, but his bout won the best contest award.'
While Blackmore's return is tremendous news for the Royle Street gym, they welcomed back a boxer who has been on the sidelines for much longer.
Heavyweight Richard Allen is now 26 and has not boxed since his promising junior days. He kept Matthew Tipton on the end of his jab but could not follow up the advantage of inflicting a standing eight count on the Loughborough boxer in the opening minutes.
Welterweight Blackmore Jnr was pitted against Leon Fewkes (Sheffield), whose continuous action over the past three seasons paved the way for a unanimous verdict.
Middleweight Frank Collins, 22, won the verdict in his 24th contest, keeping Tony Booth (Leicester) at bay, and Alistair Finney, 19, lost a majority verdict to Roy Upshon (Wales).
Both boxers were making their debuts and Finney let his opponent off the hook after a good start. Upshon recovered from a first-round standing eight count to take the initiative from Finney.
The foursome take their places at a packed Civic Hall on Friday when 26 tables of eight - £320 per table - are expected to support the Banner Rail dinner show.
The proceeds are to support the families of the four railmen killed in an accident at Carlisle. The event is organised by ex-Winsford boxer and Knight's Grange publican Terry Tickle. MC is landlord Ernie Welch. It is Winsford's first show since an outdoor event at the Knight's Grange pub three years ago.