Repton's magnificent seven
PUBLISHED: 15:52 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:11 05 October 2010
By JONATHAN CLEGG REPTON will send their own version of the Magnificent Seven to the ABA semi-finals this weekend hoping that they can outgun their opponents and claim glory for the Bethnal Green club. Repton s dominant display at the North East London
By JONATHAN CLEGG
REPTON will send their own version of the Magnificent Seven to the ABA semi-finals this weekend hoping that they can outgun their
opponents and claim glory for the Bethnal Green club.
Repton's dominant display at the North East London divisional championships a fortnight ago saw seven of the club's title hopefuls reach Saturday's London semi-final round at York Hall, with the finals to be held later the same evening.
Lightweight Danny Clark led the way at the divisional round by winning two fights to progress to the last four in the Under-60kg division, while Lee Ballard and Lee Newman both came through single fights to reach the last four.
Walkover victories for Oscar Webb, Irfan Sheikh, Talia Lodhi and Damian Campbell swelled Repton's semi-final contingent to seven, and the East London club will be expected to repeat their success at their home venue in Bethnal Green.
Welterweight Newman, who overcame Peacock rival Dalton Miller to reach the semi-finals in the Under-69kg division, believes that Repton's long tradition of producing ABA champions will inspire this year's crop to deliver further success.
"Repton is the best club in the country and with so many other good fighters here, it drives you on to do your best," said Newman.
"Success breeds success - you don't want to let anyone down and more importantly you don't want to let yourself down."
Newman, who joined Repton from Dagenham Boxing Club last year, is making his first title bid at senior level and he insists there is more to come following his semi-final triumph.
"I won the semi-final convincingly but I don't think I boxed to the best of my ability," he revealed.
"This was my first time at the senior ABAs so winning the London finals is my next target.
"Obviously you don't know much about the guys you'll be fighting on the night, but I feel confident and I feel fit, I've just got to sharpen up a bit."
While Newman progressed to the semi-finals by fighting through the divisional round, Irfan Sheikh is one of four Repton boxers who received a walkover.
But Sheikh admits he would have liked a tougher passage to the last four.
"I was disappointed to get the walkover because I'd been training hard and starving myself to make weight," explained Sheikh, who is looking to avenge a controversial defeat in the 2004 ABA divisional championships on Saturday.
"Last time I boxed at the ABAs was four years ago I was robbed of a decision in the North East championships.
"I haven't boxed at all since then. This will be my first fight back so I've been training hard for it and I'm looking for a stoppage win this time.