Newland blow as Repton trio eye ABA finals

Repton's trio of ABA hopefuls head to Sheffield for the national quarter-finals, but there was title misery this week for former star Ricky Newland


While Repton's trio of ABA hopefuls head to Sheffield for the national quarter-finals tomorrow night, there was title misery this week for the Bethnal Green club's former star Ricky Newland.

Newland's high hopes of success in this year's heavyweight championship race have been shot down after he was forced to withdraw from the competition because of an eye problem.

Newland, who now boxes for Canning Town's Peacock BC, has pulled out of the quarter-finals after suffering problems with his left eye following his London ABA title triumph over All Stars fighter Moses Kamula at York Hall earlier this month.

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"After the bout I noticed my vision was restricted in my left eye. I have had it checked by three doctors who advised me not to box," said Newland.

"As for my future in the sport, I can't say at the moment but I must respect what the doctors decide."

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Newland's withdrawal comes as a major blow both for the fighter himself and for the national squad, since the former Repton ace was rated one of the brightest prospects in the heavyweight division.

The East London fighter had appeared a good bet to improve on the runners-up award he achieved as a cruiserweight a year ago after showing outstanding form against a series of more experienced rivals in this year's competition.

Repton's title hopefuls Martin Ward and Michael McCarthy have also shown outstanding form on the title trail ahead of the quarter-final trip to Sheffield.

Walcot BC fighter Daniel Bharg will supply the quarter final opposition for lightweight McCarthy, while bantamweight Ward has been handed a bye.

England flyweight Oscar Webb, who has made his way through the championships on a series of walkovers, faces a clash against Guernsey Amalgamated BC opponent Bradley Watson.

The Bethnal Green club trio know that standards will be high in Sheffield with some talented opposition aiming to stop Repton from adding to an impressive list of honours.

The quarter-final contests will take place tomorrow night, with the national semi-finals scheduled to take place just 24 hours later. The ABA championship finals will also take place in Sheffield on Friday May 8.

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