Djillali beats Veal for title and Purdy and Wu wage war in K1 thriller at Road to Contenders

Chey Veal, right, tries to land a right hand on Duncan Djillali in their bantamweight title clash at

Chey Veal, right, tries to land a right hand on Duncan Djillali in their bantamweight title clash at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Norfolk prospect Chey Veal came up just short in his bold bid to move up a weight category and capture the first title of his promising fighting career at a superb Road to Contenders event in Norwich.

Chey Veal, left, and Duncan Djillali after their razor-close fight for the first-ever Road to Conten

Chey Veal, left, and Duncan Djillali after their razor-close fight for the first-ever Road to Contenders title. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Veal, a natural flyweight, stepped up ten pounds in weight to meet the tall, rangy and experienced Duncan Djillali for MMA banatmweight gold in the main event of the first-ever Road to Contenders show at the Epic Studios.

And, in an absorbing back-and-forth scrap, Veal, who fights out of Norwich’s Elite Gym and Tsunami Norfolk, was pipped 48-47 on all three scorecards, the fifth and final round proving decisive as Djillali managed to keep the fight standing and land some spiteful shots.

Ex-Norwich City star Grant Holt presented Duncan Djillali with the Road to Contenders bantamweight t

Ex-Norwich City star Grant Holt presented Duncan Djillali with the Road to Contenders bantamweight title belt after his win over Chey Veal. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Djillali, who was presented with his belt by former Norwich City star Grant Holt, improves to 6-5 with the win while Veal drops to 3-3-1, but will only learn from the experience – and pose problems for anyone back at his natural 125lbs.

Elsewhere, the K1 match-up between Suffolk’s Jack Purdy and Norfolk’s Adrian Wu was every bit as good as advertised, both men trading breathtaking and brutal high-level combos in a staggering display of elite striking.

Jack Purdy lands a body kick on his way to a points win over Adrian Wu in the fight of the night at

Jack Purdy lands a body kick on his way to a points win over Adrian Wu in the fight of the night at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

In the end Purdy, of Ipswich’s Mamba Martial Arts, took a razor-close points win – but there will be huge demand for a rematch between the two, ideally over five rounds and with a title on the line.

Cromer’s Fighting Fit Martial Arts gym had a perfect evening, with their fighters winning all five battles in which they engaged – Bartek Grabowski and Eddie Jonas looking particularly impressive, while Jen Stoner, Ben Hicks and Beth Boland also had their hands raised.

Jack Purdy, left, and Adrian Wu thrilled fans at the first Road to Contenders event with a high-leve

Jack Purdy, left, and Adrian Wu thrilled fans at the first Road to Contenders event with a high-level K1 scrap. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Most Read

In the co-main event of the night, Elite’s giant heavyweight boxing hope Jakub Adamski saw off the game Kamil Witkowski via split decision, showing nice boxing fundamentals and his trademark terrifying power in equal measure.

And two more Elite fighters, brothers Luke and Reece Ward, look to be stars of the future after they both thrilled the packed crowd with their victories – Luke showed an otherworldly chin and relentless pressure to beat Cameron Johnson on points in a K1 fight, while Reece displayed his unorthodox but flashy striking in his tough majority decision triumph over the talented Craig Gibson.

Giant heavyweight Jakub Adamski lands a jab on his way to a win at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRET

Giant heavyweight Jakub Adamski lands a jab on his way to a win at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Fellow Elite prospect Danny Gotts, meanwhile, laid claim to knock-out of the night honours, responding to some goading by foe Richard Patchett with a perfectly-placed right hand to drop his man and force an early halt to hostilities in the second round of their MMA dust-up.

There was an impressive finish too from Siam boxer Paddy Harkins, who landed several rapid combinations on Elite’s Aaron Rolfe to prompt a second-round stoppage – to his credit, Rolfe took the fight on late notice and gave up a significant amount of weight in the duel.

Referee Dan Movahedi raises Jakub Adamski's hand as the Norwich heavyweight improved to 2-0 at Road

Referee Dan Movahedi raises Jakub Adamski's hand as the Norwich heavyweight improved to 2-0 at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Road to Contenders full results:-

Ref Sam Amidi raises Luke Ward's hand after his thrilling win at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT

Ref Sam Amidi raises Luke Ward's hand after his thrilling win at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Prelims

Bartek Grabowski beat Jamie Grant on pts (UD) - 56kg boxing

Reece Ward, left, trades shots with the very tough Craig Gibson on the way to a close points win at

Reece Ward, left, trades shots with the very tough Craig Gibson on the way to a close points win at Road to Contenders. Picture: BRETT KING - Credit: Archant

Danny Gotts beat Richard Patchett via second round TKO - 72 kg MMA

Eddie Jonas beat Joao Lopes via third round TKO - 68kg K1

Luke Ward beat Cameron Johnson on pts (UD) - 64kg K1

Liam Bailey beat Jack Walker on pts (UD) - 80kg boxing

Jen Stoner beat Leanne Fernandez on pts (UD) – 63kg K1

Jonathan Hind beat Sam Smith via second round TKO (cut to eye) - 70kg MMA

Paddy Harkins beat Aaron Rolfe via second round TKO - 82kg boxing

Ben Hicks beat Jay Durrant via first round TKO - 84kg MMA

George Morris beat Mark Dunham via second round TKO - heavyweight MMA

Reece Ward beat Craig Gibson on pts (MD) – 60kg MMA

Main card

Beth Boland beat Ewelina Rolinska on pts (UD) – 57kg K1

Jack Purdy beat Adrian Wu on pts (UD) - 60kg K1

Jakub Adamski beat Kamil Witkowski on pts (SD) - heavyweight boxing

Duncan Djillali beat Chey Veal on pts (UD, 48-47 on all three cards) - Road to Contenders bantamweight MMA title

MMA

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter