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Pontyberem’s Zack offers expert analysis

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Gary Buckland and Zack Davies: ‘Great to follow careers from the start’

WELSH boxing is thriving at the moment and the future looks bright, according to the professional boxer from Pontyberem, Zack Davies.

The 25-year-old light-welterweight fighter who has a record of seven wins and one loss during his career so far, will feature as the ringside analyst in the new S4C combat sports series Y Ffeit.

The new six-part series will show highlights from professional and amateur bouts from the biggest boxing and MMA events in Wales, starting on Wednesday night (Mar 29).

The first programme will show highlights from a boxing event held in Rhydycar Leisure Centre in Merthyr Tydfil. The main event of the evening will see Mountain Ash fighter Tony Dixon take on Wrexham’s Mike Jones for the Welsh Super Welterweight title. Zack is already looking forward to taking his ringside seat.

How did you become interested in boxing in the first place?

Boxing is in my blood. My grand-dad opened his own gym in Pontyberem and his four sons started boxing. There are pictures of my dad boxing up on the walls in the house. I’d have to say it’s my family I look up to most in boxing. But I only got into boxing when I was 11-years-old. My brother is older than me and he used to win a lot of trophies and get a lot of the limelight after winning his fights, and I wanted some of it. So I started because I was jealous and I’ve been hooked ever since.

What is your career highlight so far and what is your ambition?

I fought on the undercard of Roy Jones Jr and Enzo Maccarinelli in Russia in 2015, and I won. It was a great show in a big stadium holding 20,000 people, and that was an experience I’ll never forget. As an amateur, I fought in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and I was also part of the GB squad for four years.

In the future, I just want to take things as they come and go as far as I can. I have no specific goal of becoming a world champion by a certain point. I just want to reach my potential, continue to work hard and be as fit as I can.

Who’s who in boxing in Wales at the moment?

Lee and Andrew Selby are leading the way and Nathan Cleverly is doing well too. There’s a fighter from my gym, Liam Williams, who’s a Commonwealth champion and he’s starting to make a name for himself. There are a lot of quality Welsh fighters coming through at the moment, people like Dale Evans, Tony Dixon, Chris Jenkins and Alex Hughes. Maybe these boys will be the next Cleverly or the next Selby. It’s great we’re following these boxers’ careers from the start on Y Ffeit.

Who are you looking forward to watching on the first Y Ffeit night in Merthyr?

Tony Dixon is the big name on the card and I’m looking forward to seeing him. Tony is a very strong and exciting fighter. He was knocked out last year and he recovered well to win his next fight, but he’s got another big test against Mike Jones, who is in good shape and will be right up for it, because it’s the biggest fight of his career so far. Dorian Darch (Wales’ leading heavyweight boxer, who will fight Chris Healey) is a strong fighter too, so this bout will also be a good watch.

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Blacks go marching on

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Defence: Burry Port aim to stop a Stars attack

New Dock Stars • 10
Burry Port • 21

BURRY PORT travelled to local rivals New Dock Stars ​last Saturday (Oct 7) and booked their place into the next round of the WRU Bowl.

It was the home side who got off to the better start keeping the ball for long periods and putting the Burry Port try line under some pressure but just couldn’t get over the white wash.

Burry Port looked dangerous when in possession and with strong running centre Knox opening the scoring with a fine run Burry Port got into their game and took control of the first half.

Knox soon crossed for his second and was quickly followed by another try this time by Flanker Rich Parker all converted by Ceiron Thomas to make the score 21-0 at half time.

The Blacks had more opportunities to increase the lead but a combination of good defence and a couple of mistakes at the last moment denied the away team.

New Dock put plenty of good work in themselves and were really effective at keeping the ball with forwards working hard off 9 and after a long phase of play were awarded a penalty on the Burry Port 22 which was kicked by Jason Baxter to make the score 21-3.

The rest of the half saw New Dock trying to get back in the game but Burry Port controlled territory and wouldn’t let the home team anytime in the attacking half.

The final score went to New Dock after a promising Burry Port attack and a chance of another try the ball was intercepted by the New Dock winger Kieron James who raced in for a try under the posts, converted by Baxter to make the final score 21-10.

The two teams will meet again ​on Saturday (Oct 14) in the league when Burry Port will be the hosts and can expect another tough game.

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Nant hold off Quins

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Try: Gareth Davies steps in before scoring for Nantgaredig​

Pembroke Dock Quins • 12
Nantgaredig • 28

NANTGAREDIG withstood a second half fight back from a spirited Pembroke Dock Quins side to book their place in the third round of the WRU Bowl ​last Saturday (Oct 7).

The high flying Division 3B side won the game 28-12 but the Quins dominated the second half and were unlucky not to score more points.

The visitors could not have got off to a better start when Outside Half Dafydd Lewis slotted over a penalty after just ​two minutes, and on 10 minutes Scrum Half George Gleeson slipped over for a try which was converted by Dafydd Lewis.

With a 0-10 advantage for the visitors it looked like it was going to be a tough afternoon for the Quins.

On the Half Hour the Quins were dealt a hammer blow when Right Wing Gethin Davies touched down for a Unconverted Try wide out to put his side 15 points to the good.

The Quins though, responded magnificently, with one of the best tries they have scored this Season.

After some fine ball retention Outside Half Lewis Davies powered through a gap in a stretched defence to score half way out, he converted himself to put the Quins back in the hunt.

With five minutes of the half remaining the Quins laid siege to the visitors’ line, but unfortunately for the Quins they could not crack the visitors defence.

The Quins had it all to play for as the second Half started but with just five minutes of the half gone Dafydd Lewis punished a Quins indiscretion to put his side into a 7-18 lead.

From here on in it was all Quins as they seemed to be encamped in the visitors 22, but no matter what they tried it just did not seem their day.

Just on the hour mark an interception try by Dafydd Lewis was a cruel blow to the Quins after all the effort they had put in, he failed to convert his own try from wide out.

The Quins were soon back inside the visitors 22, with replacement Hywel Baker showing a never say die attitude after coming off his sick bed, but the Quins could not force a score, with some outstanding defence by the visitors coming to the fore.

Nantgaredig grabbed a fourth try when a chip over the top bounced straight into Dafydd Lewis’ hands and the Outside Half did the rest for an unconverted try.

The Quins had the last say when replacement Prop Martin Culley powered over from close range for an unconverted try.

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Cefneithin beat All Blacks

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Try: Cefneithin celebrate after scoring one of their tries​

Neyland • 3
Cefneithin • 25

CEFNEITHIN knocked out opposition from Pembrokeshire for a second time as they beat Neyland 25-3 to make it through to the third round of the WRU Bowl ​last Saturday (Oct 7).

The Carmarthenshire side knocked out Milford in the first round and put in another good display to beat Neyland.

They started this game well and went ahead with a try from Nathan Harbright and a second try from Dion Thomas gave them a 10-0 lead.
James Gronow and Jonathan Morgan also claimed tries while Richard Watts added one conversion and one penalty.

All Neyland had to show for their efforts was a solitary penalty from Mark Riley but it could have been a much different score line had the home side taken some of their chances.

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