Professional boxing returned to Barnsley in spectacular style on Friday night as Robbie Barrett and Andy Townend won thrilling fights while Josh Wale prepared for his European title challenge later in the month with victory.

Barrett, from Darfield, won on points against Matty Fagan for the IBF European title at the Metrodome.

The home fighter seemed to be edging the majority of the rounds then decked the visitor with a clever left hand shot in the eighth.

Barrett completed a classy display to see out the remainder of the fight then two judges had him 96-93 ahead and another put him 98-91 up.

Bantamweight Wale, from Brampton, won on points against Nicaraguan Rafael Castillo. Wale’s original opponent Toto Helebhe, from South Africa, was not allowed a VISA to fight in the match which could have set the Brampton man up for a world title fight.

Instead he is due to fight in France on October 26 for the European title against Georges Ory. He was clearly trying to avoid being cut ahead of the title bout and was far more cautious and defensive than usual but did enough to edge out Castillo.

Lightweight Andy Townend, the former Hard and Fast Amateur who has been based in Cudworth and Shafton, beat Welshman Henry Janes 77-74 in an eight-round contest to make it six wins from his last six fights.

After six fairly even rounds, former English champion Townend stunned his opponent in the seventh during a flurry of shots then floored him with a powerful right hand shot. Janes got up but was beaten on points in a good fight which saw each man land plenty of punches.

Full reports, pictures and reaction in next week’s Chronicle.