Former amateur boxer Mark Houlden made a triumphant return to action on Saturday night at the Queensbury Boxing League’s night of champions event, writes Alan Foley.

The 34-year-old took the scalp of Carshalton’s highly-rated light welterweight Craig Stanistreet in front of an army of his supporters at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

It was first appearance in the ring after a three-year hiatus from competition as he concentrated on establishing his own boxing and fitness club, Ultimate Fitness, in Leatherhead He produced a gutsy performance over three competitive rounds to take the judges decision and was delighted to have showcased his talents once again.

“It was a tough fight and Craig was a really good kid so I’m happy to get the verdict in front of so many of my friends and family,” he said.

“At the start of the fight, he was catching me with some sharp punches and I thought if this keeps up I’m in trouble.

“But I managed to get myself going and although I’m not that happy with my technical performance, I’m pleased with my work rate and fitness.

“I think it was my constant forward aggression that won me the fight.

“I feel fit and strong and ready to go again soon, but I’m due to get married in the summer so I will just need to wait and see how things go and then have a look at some of the other light welterweights that are currently competing in the league.”