Amateur | Issue | Premium | Oct 29 2019

The inspirational stories of the Development championships

Featuring a boxer who overcame homelessness to become a champion, a man who found asylum in this country, Matt Bozeat recounts the inspiring stories that unfolded at the England Boxing Development championships finals
Development championships
Andy Chubb/England Boxing

The Development Championships reached its conclusion at the Spiceball Centre with 76 bouts spread over two days from October 26-27. The best story to come from the championship was that of Rosanna Brunwin, a 28 year old from Total Boxer in North London. Boxing saved Brunwin from drug abuse and homelessness and in her sixth bout, she was  crowned a champion after unanimously outpointing Charley Carters (Hook and Jab) in the Class A final at 64kgs. Brunwin won the opening round with her jab and when Carters took the fight to her at the start of the second, Brunwin stood her ground and got the better of the exchanges. Both let their hands go in the last and though Carters had her successes, Brunwin usually had the final word.

Othman Said was another with an inspiring story, but for the 20 year old welterweight from South Wye Police ABC, there was to be no happy ending after his Class A final against Precieux Noka (Croydon). Said fled Libya after being shot and stabbed in an attack that left his father dead and made his way across Europe. For months, Said slept rough before his luck changed and he was able to creep onto a bus from Paris to London unnoticed by the driver. Said sought asylum and was relocated to Hereford where he took up boxing under coach Vince McNally. He won six bouts to reach the final where he lost a desperately close 3-2 split. Noka pressed, Said moved and a public warning for Said in the second may have been decisive. For Noka, it was a 13th straight win.

One of Saturday’s best bouts was in Class B at 60kgs where all-action Josh Hargreaves (Purge) [pictured] beat Jordan Phelps (Army) on a split to make it back-to-back Development titles. From the outset, Hargreaves, known in his gym as ‘Baby Canelo,’ looked to burrow his way inside and hook. Twice in the opening round Hargreaves was told off for shots that strayed low and when he got through with body shots in the second, Phelps felt it and held. Later in the round, Hargreaves knocked Phelps onto his heels with a left hook and he punched the air at the bell, feeling the job was almost done. Phelps rallied and the third round was hard for both boxers. Hargreaves took a few right uppercuts and came back with left hooks.


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