Steed takes his chance as Dolan is forced to sit and watch

Wisbech boxer Joe Steed at The Halls in Norwich

Joe Steed's hand is raised in victory by referee Mark Bates - Credit: Chris Lakey

It was around half an hour after Joe Steed had thrown his last punch that he was greeted by Emma Dolan in the ancient corridors above The Halls in Norwich. 

Steed had topped the bill, pummelling a Bulgarian - who bore the dubious nickname ‘The Russian - for six rounds. Dolan, instead of taking her part in the Friday night show,  had been a spectator, the victim of the scourge of all boxers – the late-pull-out. She was there to congratulate Steed on his performance.

Dereham boxer Emma Dolan at The Halls in Norwich

Emma Dolan - left high and dry after her opponent pulled on on the day of the fight - Credit: Adam Fairbrother

For both, it was all part of the learning process. Wisbech's Steed was fortunate; he got to fight; and a good job he did too. The experienced Konstantin Aleksandrov, a Bulgarian, offered little until, curiously, midway through the final round when he egged Steed forward – the only time in the fight he really looked like he wanted to engage. Steed hit him with everything and was a deserved 60:54 winner, taking his record to 9-0. 

"The instructions were there - prise him open,” said trainer Graham Everett. 

“Joe’s an excitable type of fighter, he gets excited, he does his thing, but to be honest I am really pleased for him. He worked hard through those six rounds, he tried really hard to open him up, but that man has so much experience – he doesn’t win a lot, but he has got a lot of experience and that will do Joe no harm in the long run. He won every round, he tried really hard, he had the energy and the engine to push him hard. You will see a better Joe when somebody is coming at him but it was a good exercise in trying to open somebody up.  

“He boxed really well and it won’t do him any harm - he is still young and he needs those rounds.” 

Dolan also needs the rounds, but the Dereham fighter's hopes of making it four wins in a row at the start of a promising career were shattered on the day of the fight when opponent Vanessa Caballero had a change of heart, caught a taxi from Norwich to Gatwick and flew back to Spain. 

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“Her opponent turned up on Thursday with her coach and something has happened overnight,” said Everett. “I don’t know if she turned up heavy or something like that. She apparently wasn’t comfortable. We knew she was heavier than Emma anyway, but we were quite happy to give the weight away. She, off her own back, with her trainer, got a taxi back to Gatwick and booked her own flight home.  

“She has had 20 pro fights, boxing in this country five times. There is absolutely no reason for her to react like she did. It is mind-boggling, it really is. It is such a disappointment, but Emma has taken it well - there are a lot of girls out there who have had he fights cancelled. 

“It is a really sad situation because she had worked so hard and so well.” 

Great Yarmouth's Mikie Webber-Kane on his way to victory over John Spencer of Manchester in Norwich 

Mikie Webber-Kane on his way to victory over John Spencer - Credit: Adam Fairbrother

Dolan’s unwanted night off meant the card was reduced to four, with Great Yarmouth’s Mikie Webber-Kane, who splits his training between Everett and Tony Norman, opening proceedings with a 40:36 win over tough Mancunian John Spencer. 

Mikie Webber-Kane of Great Yarmouth v John Spencer of Manchester at The Halls in Norwich

Joy for Great Yarmouth's Mikie Webber-Kane - Credit: Adam Fairbrother

“I thought it was a nice quality performance,” said Everett. “He has been working really hard in the gym and had some good sparring and this is all part of the moving forward process. I thought he controlled the fight and it is just a good all-round performance against a tough and tricky customer who is handful – they are hard men and I think Tony Norman is doing a good job with him.” 

Norwich fighter Rylan Charlton made a guest appearance, and floored opponent Ezequiel Gregores in the opening round. The Argentine stayed in it and had his moments, hut Charlton was a 60:53 winners. 

Rylan Charlton of Norwich against Ezequiel Gregores

Rylan Charlton on his way to victory over v Ezequiel Gregores - Credit: Adam Fairbrother

Frankie Davey, from Ipswich, drew 38:38 with Richard Helm from Manchester. 

“I had Frankie winning,” said Everett. “He might have got pipped in the last round.  The lad’s big shots didn’t land, they were hitting the gloves, but it isn’t going to do him any harm, he is only young, he is a work in process.” 

Frankie Davey of Ipswich v Richard Helm of Manchester at The Halls in Norwich

Frankie Davey and Richard Helm fought to a draw - Credit: Adam Fairbrother