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Amateur Scene – June 11

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Catch up on the amateur boxing world this week

Daniel Herbert sees the London Community Boxing club show

THERE was double success for Marlon Walker when he boxed on his London Community Boxing club’s open show at Harris Academy in Peckham last month. The southpaw middleweight not only made a winning debut, he was also named Best Home Boxer for his victory over Jason Sheppherd (Double Jab), who took two standing counts before being rescued near the end of round one.

Best Away Boxer on the May 18 show went to Evolve Boxing Academy’s Theo Kontos, who edged a very close 3-2 split over Innes Bowat (Cranford) in a meeting of well-schooled development welterweights.

Evolve had another winner in Fifii Botchway, who unanimously beat Mindaugas Balciunas (Powerpunch) in a clash of huge super-heavies.

Another visiting club with two winners was Omnibus Loxford, for whom debutant Benjamin Augusto unanimously outboxed Solomon Adeyi (Powerpunch) and Joel Kodua pipped Iduino Balde (Miguel’s) on a split. Both contests were at middleweight, and all bouts mentioned were three-twos.

RESULTS
Paddy Cash (Westside) outpd
Marcus Corcoran (Northolt) unan; Kody Mellors (Westside) bt Arnie Dawson (Holland Shore); Diam Clegg (Golden Ring) outpd Tyler Whatle (LCB) unan; Tom Elis (Surbiton) outpd Khalid Shabedzada (White Hart Lane) unan; Rosanna Brunwin (Total Boxer) stpd Lisa Carty (Cricklewood) 3rd; Theo Kontos (Evolve Boxing Academy) outpd Innes Bowat (Cranford) split; Marlon Walker (LCB) stpd Jason Sheppherd (Double Jab) 1st; Benjamin Augusto (Omnibus Loxford) outpd Solomon Adeyi (Powerpunch) unan; Joel Kodua (Omnibus Loxford) outpd Iduino Balde (Miguels) split; Fifii Botchway (Evolve BA) outpd Mindaugas Balciunas (Powerpunch) unan.

Richard Taylor writes to pay tribute to Fred Gummerson

AMATEUR boxing lost one of its most loyal and dedicated coaches – Fred Gummerson.  Fred has coached countless boxers at every level over a lifetime in the sport, among them double Olympic champion Nicola Adams. In sport the words ‘legend’ and ‘legacy’ can be overused, however in Fred’s case this is exactly what he was and what he leaves.

There are so many true unsung heroes at sport’s grass roots level. At Fred’s Hard & Fast/Grimethorpe and Cudworth Amateur Boxing Club, the door was open to anyone willing to train and all will have their own stories. As well as his boxing knowledge, it was also Fred’s approach, his honesty, his kindness and his wit that made him such a respected and loved character.

Fred never made a penny from the sport that he dedicated his life to with the endless support of his loving wife Barbara but, as he told me himself, the decades he had put into the sport had made his life rich in so many other ways. He taught strength of character, pride and at the club he gave me and countless others a sense of belonging. So much so that over 30 years since I first walked through that door, I am still part of that same club. It feels like the end of an era, but the boxing world is a better place because of a true legend and real life hero in Fred Gummerson.

Knives down, gloves up: George Hopcraft on a special event

KNIVES Down, Gloves Up.” The message was clear, displayed on the front of the T-shirts the boxers and coaches wore. Crawley put on 16 bouts as boxing aimed to punch out knife crime.

Hayden Bulloch became a Southern Counties 75kgs titlist after beating Eastbourne’s Omid Riouf by unanimous decision. Bulloch controlled the action with many unpredictable combinations.

Crawley’s Thomas Jordan might have had a slightly peculiar choice of entrance music but he really did ‘let it go’ in the ring as he made his way through a grudge match with Brighton and Hove’s Saif Timouki. After Jordan was handed a count in the first round, he bounced back to win a split.

Mohammed Hassine put on a stellar performance with some great combinations against Ockley’s Josh Edwards, who also landed clean shots. However, Hassine controlled the fight with some huge right hands landing and he took home a split decision. Nana Donkor was skilful and elegant in his bout against Aharon Ochang. Donkor picked his shots and managed a win via unanimous decision. Ochang could not deal with the rapid hands of Donkor who looks set to be another of Crawley’s promising talents.

FINCHLEY FOCUS

Sean Murphy discusses life outside England Boxing

FINCHLEY ABC is one of most well established boxing clubs in England, not least because it produced Anthony Joshua, until recently the unified world heavyweight champion and still one of the most famous boxers in the world today. Finchley was one of the major clubs that left England Boxing to form the Amateur Boxing Alliance. That breakaway means that their boxers currently cannot compete in the England Boxing national championships, box for GB or compete in Olympic boxing.

But Finchley have been holding shows with other Alliance clubs and travelling abroad for bouts. “We’re very busy,” head coach Sean Murphy explains. “We’re doing alright.”

“The kids are in the club because I get them out, I get them boxing,” he continued. “I’ve had nearly 280 bouts this season with the kids so it’s a lot of fights.”

Through a link with the WBC Amateurs programme, he’s taken teams to Mexico and Spain. “The Mexicans are very strong,” he said. “It was a very good experience. We’re boxing at 3,000 feet at altitude… They all performed really well. The second day they held their own.

“We beat [Spain] 5-3 over here and then they beat us 5-3 over there.”

He points to Frankie Storey as one of the boxers to watch at the club. “He’s a 56kgs, featherweight. Very sharp hands, very lively for his weight,” Murphy said. “I’ve got a couple of good 13, 14 year olds. It has opened more doors boxing for the WBC now, because we’re members with them and there’s a lot more countries we can go to.”

But he would still like to see the rift between England Boxing and the Alliance heal. “It’s a shame about the split that’s come about with AIBA and Alliance boxing, if at all at any point it would be nice if we could compete against AIBA boxing clubs,” he said. “I think it would be better for boxing in England as a whole if we could be one thing all together. It isn’t good really having different amateur organisations because you’re just pulling against each other. We should be all working together as one.”

When the London ABA formed the Alliance, Finchley went with them. “They’re very experienced people and I went with them. I was supporting my region because they were our leaders in London. So rather than break away and go against them, I stayed with them,” Murphy said. “I think there were a lot of things at the time [that were problems], AIBA were dictating to everyone in England.

“I lost 11 of my boxers and they were all my better boys. Since they’ve all left, four of them are back in the gym but two of them are professionals now.”

But he notes, “We are amateur clubs. We’re not doing it for money. We’re doing it for the love of the sport.

“I’m still enjoying the boxing. If I weren’t getting my boxers out then I would seriously have to think about coming back to England Boxing. I’d like to be all as one again. I think it would be better for the sport to be all as one.”

GETTING OUT

THE Amateur Boxing Alliance is a new, rival body to England Boxing and has been holding events with clubs that used to be part of the national federation, notably Finchley ABC and Lambeth’s Fitzroy Lodge. Finchley had some of their boxers in team matches that the Alliance staged in London earlier this year.

A London vs Kent match featured a close contest with their Kevin Moldovan who produced a big last round to narrowly outpoint Ben Bishop from Halling ABC. Kent would beat the London Select team five bouts to three.

A match pitched an English team vs Spanish side. Finchley’s Frankie Storey defeated Edu Torres on a unanimous decision in a competitive bout. Finchley ABC’s Ross Driscoll lost a close majority decision to Eusse Vasquez, both mixing their shots to body and head in a display of non-stop action.

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