Repton and West Ham boxers fly the flag for East London
PUBLISHED: 15:30 21 March 2013
Two London ABA titles each for our boxing clubs
Repton and West Ham kept the east London flag flying at the London ABA finals at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon on Saturday, when they each clinched two titles.
Repton featherweight Chris Ali and welterweight Sam McNess – alongside Hammers duo, bantamweight Lucien Reid and light-middleweight Luke Saunders – now move forward as London champions into the national pre-quarter-finals at Harlow on Sunday against the eastern region winners.
Talented Saunders collected the ‘Best Boxer’ trophy after eliminating reigning ABA titleholder Kelvin Fawaz (All Stars) with a sparkling display, subduing a hard punching rival with speedy shots in every round.
Fawaz slammed home his heavy blows but he could not dominate as the classy Hammer fired his speedy punches on the retreat to control the clash, after powering to a first-round semi-final win, stopping Ash Stanakzai (Balham) inside a round.
Reid also claimed his London title with a points success over a reigning ABA champion, whipping Bexley’s 2012 flyweight winner Joe McCully, piling up the points with his fast-punching attacks for a good win over a strong rival.
He completed a double over south London opposition, for earlier in the day he had been a clear winner against Balham’s Chris Bourke in his semi-final with a unanimous decision for the West Ham hope.
Two unanimous verdicts saw McNess capture the London welterweight award, as with his fast-punching assault he proved too good for Azat Yousefi (Croydon) in his semi-final. Tough Times boxer Elijah Okubi needed an early standing count as the Repton boxer poured on the punches in the final, but he gamely took the shots and survived to the final bell when all the judges voted for McNess.
Clubmate Ali was given a tough final test by Lynn southpaw Gerry McDonagh, but landed enough scoring shots to take home the judges’ majority verdict and the 57kg trophy.
Meanwhile, Hammers fancied lightweight Charlie Driscoll finished on the wrong end of a split vote in his final with Isaac Dogboe (London TA), a tough south London-based Ghanaian who boxed in last year’s Olympics.
The judges voted for the tough two-fisted attacks of the stocky Dogboe against the boxing skills of the Hammer who had earlier outpointed Islington’s Jose Moreno in another close finish.
Another split vote saw the exit of Repton’s talented light-heavyweight Umar Sadiq, who looked to have done enough to defeat Joshua Buatsi only for the judges to send the South Norwood boxer into the final – which he won, beating Finchley’s James Easy on another majority.
Simon Lewis won the opening round of his cruiserweight semi-final with Balham’s Tyrone Williams, but was flattened by a powerful right in the second round. The referee stopped the contest to send Williams into the final where he was halted by Ricardo Slue (Fitroy Lodge).
Repton’s teenage light-welterweight Romario Wallace fought bravely in his semi-final, but was outpointed by stronger Islington campaigner James Woodward who went on to lose his final against Lynn’s Chris Mbwakongo.
Also suffering a semi-final defeat, Lansbury middleweight prospect Charlie Russell found Lerrone Richards had too much experience and lost a unanimous verdict, which the Earlsfield boxer repeated in the final against Reece Shagourie (Islington).
Peacock BC heavyweight hope Dan Mendes fought bravely in the final, but lost a majority decision to Lynn’s tough Martin McDonagh who had earlier upset 2011 ABA champion Ben Illyemi (Finchley).