Repton fighter Martin Ward makes National ABA final

Martin Ward has booked his place in the ABA finals at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Friday, May 14 but his opponent Liverpudlian Ryan Farrag comes as a big shock

Martin Ward has booked his place in the ABA finals at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Friday, May 14 but his opponent Liverpudlian Ryan Farrag comes as a big shock.

The Repton boxer, a European Youth champion last year, was a strong favourite to come through the Southern semi-finals, with Hull's Luke Campbell, European senior champion, the obvious choice to triumph in the Northern Area competition.

However, it was the powerful Farrag from the Everton Red Triangle club who upset Campbell in one of the biggest shocks of the day at Retford Town Hall on Sunday.

The Merseysider poured on the punches in an all-action clash with the towering Campbell and was given the decision on an 18-16 margin after a close encounter.

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The results certainly shook Repton's long serving coach Tony Burns who said: "It must be one of the biggest upsets in years, everybody was predicting a Campbell v Ward final as the fight of the night at York Hall.

"However I have warned Martin that he can expect a tough final, Farrag must be a real talent to defeat a European champion."

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Ward's clash with Folkestone rival Josh Kennedy at Kings Lynn Leisure Centre went as expected with the Repton boxer showing his class to make sure of his final spot.

Talented Ward headed for the semi- finals eager for action after receiving a bye in the quarter-finals when his 500 mile round trip to Bideford, Devon needed no more than a weigh-in, when his Army rival Aaron Downes failed to make the 57kg limit.

But he was put under early pressure as the 18-year-old Kennedy, a junior ABA winner last year, tried to jump on Ward from the opening bell in an effort to take him out of his stride.

However, he walked into trouble as Ward slammed home the rapid-fire combinations that shook the Folkestone boxer.

Ward, showing his best form along the national title trail, was just too quick and took classy for the Folkestone rival and romped to a clear win.

To his credit Kennedy soaked up the punches and tried hard to get back in to the bout but never looked like preventing the Repton boxer from booking that final spot.

The final points score reflected Ward's dominance as he was voted a winner by a wide 15-3 margin to make sure of a final place and the clash with shock winner Farrag.

Repton ABA junior title hopefuls face their semi-final bouts on Saturday at Merlin's Nightclub Leysdown-on-Sea Kent. Weigh-in is between 10-12pm with the boxing starting at 12.30pm.

The winners will go forward to the finals taking place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd May at Barnsley Metrodome Complex. Boxing starts12.30pm

l Former Repton heavyweight Larry Olubamiwo sees his Southern Area title fight at Dagenham's Goresbrook Centre on May 14 as a stepping stone to bigger things.

He faces Southampton-Irishman Colin Kenna in a bout for the vacant title on the Frank Maloney promotion which is topped by a British title duel at the other end of the weight scale.

The meeting of flyweight champion Shinny Bayaar and challenger Ashley Sexton is the promising feature fight of the night

However it's the British heavyweight crown that big Larry has in mind as he said at the start of 2010:"My target is a Southern Area title shot and if that's successful I would love a British title fight," he said.

With limited amateur experience- and seven wins out of his eight pro fights the powerful prospect admits he is still learning the boxing business

"I know I am not the finished article ,but I am getting better and I will show it next week," he predicts.

Peacock trained heavyweight Tom Dallas, unbeaten after nine fights is also named on the Goresbrook bill with a match against 50-fight journeyman Lee Swaby on the undercard.

Other bouts include. Scott Woolford v Scott Haywood, Lewis Pettit v Delroy Spencer, David Price v Daniel Peretyatko, Travis Dickinson v Menay Edwards Akaash Bhatia v selected opponent, Martin Welsh v William Warburton, Erik Ochieng v Curtis Valentine.

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