AFTER ten gruelling rounds, Darlington’s Chrissy Wood will lock horns with Newcastle’s Jamie Humble again at the start of next year after their Northern Area title clash at Darlington’s Dolphin Centre ended in a draw, writes Peter Mann.

The pair’s battle topped the bill at a successful show that saw former world champion Stuart Hall, current British champion Tommy Ward and top prospect Troy Williamson watching from ringside, and featured a mixed bag of results for the region’s fighters.

Ellis Corrie impressed on his professional debut after switching to boxing from Muay Thai earlier this year, defeating a game David Zubrzycki over four rounds, while Trimdon’s Terry Tyres was too much for Mike Castell, even though the officials only had a two-point margin in the home fighter’s favour.

Richard O’Neill, in what was only his second fight in 13 months, enjoyed blowing off steam against the challenging Geraint Goodridge, with both fighters throwing hard and heavy shots. O’Neill, with some lovely rights, proved the more decisive.

There was also time for a reunion as former Darlington coach Paul Hamilton returned from Spain with his fighter, Sean Pendry, and didn’t half upset the applecart. Pendry stopped home favourite Neil Hepper after just 130 seconds of the first round.

Wood versus Humble rightly took centre stage though, the pair going into the contest with unbeaten records after both had notched wins at St James’ Park a few months earlier.

It would be the visiting fighter who gained the upper hand in the early stages of the contest, taking the fight to Wood in his own backyard and carrying the momentum through the first half of the contest.

The middle rounds began to see Wood frustrate Humble, although the away fighter was still landing a good number of shots. The work rate from both was evident throughout, although Wood gained momentum in the latter rounds to finish the stronger and ensure he got something out of the contest.

Adamant the pair will go again after their gruelling duel, Humble said: “I thought I’d won it just like everyone else did, but it was a really good fight.”

Wood added: “That was one hell of a fight and I really felt as though I’d done enough. I’d love to do it again Newcastle.”

Pete Shepperson, who had three fighters competing on the show in Wood, O’Neill and Corrie, said: “There were great performances by O'Neill and Corrie who both boxed well, listened well and displayed some lovely boxing.

“Richie boxed well behind his jab and did some great work to the body and put together some nice flowing combinations, while Ellis showed good punch variety and good movement, a great last round and again some lovely body punching on a very good debut.

“Massive well done to Chrissy and Jamie for putting on a great fight for the Area title as well, two great lads who fought their hearts out in a close fight that ended in a draw.

“Everyone will have opinions on it, for me a draw was fair as there was lots of close rounds that were hard to score and some great work from both lads who will feel they deserved the win.

“The rematch will 100 per cent happen, both lads want it and both lads deserve it, it's a fight that wouldn't be out of place on a bigger platform so hopefully that can happen for them.” Promoter Steve Wraith added: “The Xmas Cracker certainly lived up to its billing, it had a bit of everything.”