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Remembering best moments of former St Pancras ABC boxer Martin Power

PUBLISHED: 15:17 15 September 2020

Martin Power from England on his way to a points victory over his stand-in Mongolian from Oldham Shinny Bayaar, at the EXCEL centre, east London.

Martin Power from England on his way to a points victory over his stand-in Mongolian from Oldham Shinny Bayaar, at the EXCEL centre, east London.

PA Archive/PA Images

Londoner Martin Power, of Irish stock, was born on Valentine’s Day in 1980 and had very successful amateur and professional careers.

Martin Power (R) hits out at Ian Napa during the British bantamweight title bout at York Hall, Bethnal Green, Friday November 4, 2005. Martin Power beat Ian Napa by a split decision. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA.Martin Power (R) hits out at Ian Napa during the British bantamweight title bout at York Hall, Bethnal Green, Friday November 4, 2005. Martin Power beat Ian Napa by a split decision. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA.

Joining St Pancras ABC at the grand old age of eight, he won seven national titles as an amateur, including four consecutive National Schools’ championships (1993-1996) and a National Junior title in 1999.

He secured a cluster of gold medals, triumphing in a variety of international tournaments, and he boxed for England at schoolboy, youth and senior level and was twice a runner-up in the ABA Senior bantamweight finals in 2000 and 2001.

His amateur boxing nemesis was Salford’s very talented Stephen Foster Jnr, who first triumphed 12-8 and then 11-6 over Power at the Metrodome in Barnsley.

A one-club boy and man it is understood he left the vest and headguard from St Pancras with 55 victories in 61 bouts.

Martin Power celebrates his win during the British bantamweight title bout at York Hall, Bethnal Green, Friday November 4, 2005. Martin Power beat Ian Napa by a split decision. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA.Martin Power celebrates his win during the British bantamweight title bout at York Hall, Bethnal Green, Friday November 4, 2005. Martin Power beat Ian Napa by a split decision. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA.

It came as no surprise that Power decide to ply his trade in the professional code and he made his paid debut in June 2001 when outpointing Sean Grant over four rounds at the York Hall, Bethnal Green.

For much of his career he operated very successfully under the Frank Warren promotional banner and latterly with the then Frank Maloney promotions.

Following his successful debut Power went on to remain undefeated for a further 18 contests, boxing predominantly in the capital’s traditional fight venues. He continued to ply and learn his professional trade and in May 2005, he won the vacant British bantamweight title at York Hall, outscoring Dale Robinson by 116 points to 113.

Then, in November 2005, he won a split decision over Stoke Newington’s skilful Ian Napa, a former ABA champion, to retain the British bantamweight belt. Two scores of 116-113 went to Power with a similar 116-113 for Napa, it was a tight contest, but Power prevailed at the final bell.

He defended his British championship in May 2006, stopping Isaac Ward in eight rounds at York Hall and he was ready to have a shot at the vacant Commonwealth championship against little known South African, Tshifhiwa Munhyai, who turned out to be a surprise package, inflicting Power’s first paid loss via a ninth round stoppage. Two of the three judges had Power holding a healthy lead when the stoppage came.

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In January 2007 a return was arranged against Munyai, who once again triumphed – Power retiring at the end of the fourth round with a badly damaged elbow.

Worse was to follow for Power who first lost his British belt comprehensively to old foe Napa via a unanimous decision in favour of the Stoke Newington man. Two scores of 117-111 went to Napa with another one of 117-112 to the new champion.

Power thus lost his chance of gaining a coveted and very prestigious Lonsdale Belt.

Boxing in Dublin in December 2008, Power’s luck did not change with him being stopped inside two rounds by Merseysider Gary Davies.

With four losses on the spin many would have called it a day, but Power continued his paid campaign and won a six-rounder on points against Sid Razak at York Hall on June 30, 2009.

However, his success was shortlived, with him then being stopped midway through the eighth and final round by the very tough Stuart Hall from Darlington at the Brentwood Centre in Essex.

A stoppage win followed over Matthew Edmunds in Newport in December 2009 which set up a British bantamweight challenge against north-easterner Hall in July 2010 at Houghton-le-Spring.

Power was stopped near the end of the 10th round of their scheduled 12-rounder and clearly his punch resistance was beginning to wane sadly by now, and his best paid days were now a thing of the past.

He had, by now been boxing consistently for well over 20 years (amateur and professional), but still there would be two further throws of the dice.

First, a stoppage victory over Francis Croes, a perennial losing journeyman, then with the curtain finally coming down on Power’s career in Liverpool on January 21, 2012, losing 59-55 on points to a useful Kevin Satchell.

It was a disappointing climax to a professional career that perhaps initially promised a little more than it eventually delivered. Power retired with a paid record of 22 victories (10 inside) and seven losses (five inside).


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