AS viewers wait for the titanic Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte clash in the evening, the perfect way to spend the afternoon on Saturday (April 23) is watching the finals of England Boxing’s National Amateur Championships. The boxing begins at 1pm and the BBC will stream on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer. Watch them here.
To attend in person, the event takes place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex. Tickets are £20 per adult, £10 per concession (over 65) and £5 per child aged six to 15, with under-fives free.
Two of the best finals look to be in the men’s 54kgs and 75kgs divisions. Dagenham bantamweight Darren Bailey has showcased his speed and skill, beating good opposition on his way to the 54kgs final. There he will box Birtley’s Shaun Huddart. Huddart has proved himself a gifted technical boxer with plenty of grit too. How he copes with the pace and aggression of Bailey will be fascinating to see but Huddart is another young boxer who will have bright future.
Another Birtley boxer features in the men’s middleweight final. Dan Toward takes on Repton’s Jimmy Sains. The latter is heavy handed and boxes well behind a strong jab. Toward, a southpaw, is hard to read, more unpredictable. He’s a difficult man to pin down, moving well even when he lowers his hands. Not the biggest middleweight, Toward still might be able to impose himself physically on this bout.
At featherweight, Jack Dryden, a third Birtley finalist, secured outstanding wins in his semi and quarter-finals. Croxteth’s Jack Turner is strong but can be wild and will have to shake Dryden out of his controlled boxing.
LCB’s Ella Harris caught the eye as she advanced to the women’s 48kgs final. There though she will box Priory Park’s Kelsey Oakley, who was selected to box for England in the European under 22 championships. Another international in these finals is Empire’s Savannah Stubley, the reigning flyweight titlist. At 50kgs she takes on Fight For Peace’s Terri Naylor. Naylor is bound to give her a taxing contest. She impressed with her strength and come-forward aggression in the semi-finals.
In an intriguing 70kgs final Halliwell’s strong Cindy Ngamba meets Box Smart Elite’s skillful Omarah Taylor in what promises to be a finely balanced contest. Taylor is hoping to break through and in Ngamba faces last year’s middleweight champion who’s moving down in weight.
Hoddesdon’s Ellis Trowbridge is looking to defend the Elite title he won last year, in a rematch with Metro’s Ibrahim Kola. Both have had to shave off a kilo to make 48kgs, the new light-flyweight limit. Trowbridge is tall at the weight, so that might affect him, but typically he uses his reach and judgement of distance in good style.
Another returning champion is Moss Side Fire’s Pat Brown [above right]. It’ll be exciting to see him on home turf in the 92kgs final. Brown, a physically powerful boxer who puts together good combinations of punches is a star in the making. He will box Heart of Portsmouth’s Iman Zahmatkesh in his bid to become a two-time titlist.
The last contest of the evening will be the super-heavyweight final. At 92&kgs Hillcrest’s Harvey Dykes is boxing with an increasing sense of purpose. He reached last year’s finals, losing to Ike Ogbo then. He avenged that defeat in the semi-finals this year and takes on Hoddesdon’s Gideon Antwi for the super-heavyweight title.
The full line-up for the finals from the first to last bout
48kgs: Kelsey Oakley (Priory Park) vs Ella Harris (LCB)
48kgs: Ellis Trowbridge (Hoddesdon) vs Ibrahim Kola (Metro)
50kgs: Savannah Stubley (Empire) vs Terri Naylor (Fight For Peace)
51kgs: Hamza Uddin (Fearless) vs Thom Marley (Lambton Street)
52kgs: Seul Bee Lee (Met Police) vs Shelby Lee (MGG)
54kgs: Megan Morris (St. Ives) vs Holly Heffron (Hall Green)
54kgs: Darren Bailey (Dagenham) vs Shaun Huddart (Birtley)
57kgs: Keeley Austerfield (British Army) vs Elise Glynn (West Warwicks)
57kgs: Jack Turner (Croxteth) vs Jack Dryden (Birtley)
60kgs: Vivien Parsons (Afewee) vs Lucy Kings-Wheatley (Acocks Green)
60kgs: Codie Smith (Hull BC) vs Giorgio Visioli (Repton)
63kgs: Sarah Dunne (Metro) vs Sacha Hickey (Peacock)
63.5kgs: Mitchell Asare (White Hart Lane) vs Louie Doherty (Halstead & Essex Uni)
66kgs: Dionne Burman (Braunstone) vs Lucy Kisielewska (Army)
67kgs: Huey Malone (Christ the King) vs Cameron McKay (White Hart Lane)
70kgs: Cindy Ngamba (Halliwell) vs Omarah Taylor (Box Smart Elite)
71kgs: Ivan Duniak (Rotunda) vs Ted Jackson (St. Paul’s)
75kgs: Demi Carter (Churchill’s) vs Jerry-Lee Palmer (West Warwicks)
75kgs: Dan Toward (Birtley) vs Jimmy Sains (Repton)
80kgs: Isaac Okoh (CSM) vs Oladimeji Shittu (Five Star)
86kgs: Teagn Stott (Sheffield BC) vs Ben Andrews (Torbay)
92kgs: Pat Brown (Moss Side Fire) vs Iman Zahmatkesh (Heart of Portsmouth)
92&kgs: Gideon Antwi (Hoddesdon) vs Harvey Dykes (Hillcrest)