News June 2017

Lane Shrugs off Terror Threat to claim upset win "I just had to block it all out"


By Michael J Jones

THE RECENT TERRORIST attack at the Manchester Arena shocked the nation and the world. A lone, evil, individual representing ISIS sunk to new lows as children, attending an Ariana Grande concert, were murdered and seriously injured by a bomb in one of the worst terror incidents to be carried out on UK soil.

While the nation mourned and demanded vengeance, one man was forced to put such notions to one side as he was scheduled to box in Manchester mere days after the tragic event. Five days on from the vile atrocities in Manchester, Ashley Lane was to take on Paul “The Spartan” Economides at the Bowlers Arena over six rounds.

Just a stone's throw from the Manchester Arena, Bowlers is a hotbed for boxing talent in the North West but, for promoter Kieran Farrell and all the boxers on the bill, it was a case of “business as usual”.

“I got the call to fight Economides just days beforehand and because my trainer Chris Sanigar was working in Wales*, I actually travelled up to Manchester alone” Bristol’s Ash Lane reveals to Livefight this week. “I had absolutely no concerns (about the potential terror threat) as I was fully focused on the fight and, in boxing, that’s what a fighter has to do.”

*Sanigar cornered Craig Kennedy against Matty Askin the previous night in Cardiff.

“You could tell the security was tighter than usual (at the venue) and many in the crowd were a little tense which is understandable, but overall, everyone was very nice during my stay. I knew what had gone on but I just had to block all of it out as I had a fight to win.”

And win he did, scoring an upset six-round decision over the pre-fight favourite by a slender 58-57 margin after a torrid contest. Considering Economides was the naturally bigger man, higher ranked and had completed a full camp ahead of the match (instead of the few days Lane had to prepare), the victory was an impressive one for Lane who is far better than his 9-8-2 (1) record suggests.

To add even further accolade to his latest win, this was also Lane’s second ring success inside of just two weeks.

“I boxed a kid named Thomas Kindon in Leeds who was 10-0 coming in” continues the 26 year old bantamweight contender. “I didn’t know too much about him before the fight but he didn’t have anything at all to worry me with and, not to sound disrespectful, but it was a very easy fight for me and I thought I won every round (taking the spoils by 59-55).”

“I was winning handily and, in the fourth, I even started doing a bit of show-boating and trash-talking. Chris Sanigar didn’t like that one bit and gave me a ticking off. They gave him one round I think it was just a sympathy round I really didn’t have any concerns about the decision.”

“After that Chris (Sanigar) told me to take a few days off which I did, then I did a light work-out on the Thursday and the next day I got told I might be boxing the following week!”

“I kept on at Chris about the fight as I didn’t want to starve myself unnecessarily but he kept saying ‘be ready’, the fight got confirmed on the following Tuesday to face Economides at 8st 12. After that I knew I had to just concentrate on the fight.”

Welsh puncher Economides was a formidable opponent on paper for the Midlands Area champion. At 20-6 coming in, the “Spartan” could boast of being a former WBF champion whose only defeat in recent years was in a thriller against West Midlands star Sean Davis. Before that close decision loss the 30 year old Economides had won seven on the bounce and had competed in the higher super-bantamweight division though none of this appeared to faze the underrated Lane.

“I knew Economides a little bit as we had sparred years ago at Errol Johnson’s gym in Birmingham and I knew it would be a hard fight and he was even tougher than I expected. The first two rounds we went toe-to-toe, I picked him off in the third but we went back to slugging in the fourth.”

“After four rounds, Chris had me ahead and so did the writer from Boxing News but I couldn’t tell (who was ahead), as I just felt it was very tight. The last two rounds I boxed, moved and picked him off with good hooks and uppercuts and I believe those two rounds won me the fight.”

“He was visibly upset after the fight and so were his supporters and I can’t blame them for that, but I just feel I had that bit of extra finesse and did the cleaner work. I would have been just as upset if I’d have lost because, when it’s that close, it’s hard to accept when you’ve put so much into a fight and come away with nothing.”

“I’d love to do it all again maybe with a title on the line I’d be up for that if he wanted the chance to get revenge.”

For the “Flash” though the future looks bright after two eye-catching wins on the spin. The Bristolian’s record is littered with big domestic names and he welcomes the chance to mix it with the best once more in the coming months.

“Obviously I’m not certain what will be next but I am now back in the top ten and the people above me are guys like former world champion Stuart Hall and reigning champions like Lee Haskins and Jamie McDonnell and there’s a few who have recorded wins over me like Josh Wale and Ryan Farrag.”

“I still think I nicked my last fight with Wale and I would welcome another rematch as I really think I’d do a number on him. I would also rematch Farrag if it was offered. I’ve got a cut eye now which needs to heal but after that I’ll fight anyone. I’d face any man for the English title; it’d probably be someone unbeaten but like I always say records are for DJ’s!”

Ashley would like to thank his loyal supporters, team and sponsors Besley Hill Estate Agents for their continued support.

Fight pictures courtesy of Karen Priestley Photography.

Newsletters Signup