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Islington boxers make their mark on London Boxing Elite Championship

PUBLISHED: 12:21 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:21 27 March 2017

Islington Boxing Club's Darren Ballinger (white) and team mate Mo Gharib (red) battle it out in the semi-finals of the London Boxing Elite Championship. Picture: LONDON BOXING

Islington Boxing Club's Darren Ballinger (white) and team mate Mo Gharib (red) battle it out in the semi-finals of the London Boxing Elite Championship. Picture: LONDON BOXING

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Boxers from Islington Boxing Club started their journey to be crowned London Boxing Elite Champion with the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

Islington Boxing Club's Lamin Conteh is through to the finals of the London Boxing Elite Championship. Picture: LONDON BOXING Islington Boxing Club's Lamin Conteh is through to the finals of the London Boxing Elite Championship. Picture: LONDON BOXING

London NABC champion Yaser Al-Ghena had to battle through a preliminary round and a quarter-final in the U69kg category before losing in the semis.

He defeated Ross Boyle of Fisher ABC on a split decision in the preliminary before seeing off Alex Ananivi (IQ Boxing) in the quarter-final, again on a split decision.

However, his run was halted by Myles Cousins (West Ham ABC) on a unanimous decision.

Cousins will now face Islington’s Lamin Conteh in the London Elite Finals at Harrow Leisure Centre.

Islington Boxing Club's Darren Ballinger (white) and team mate Mo Gharib (red) battled it out in the semi-finals of the London Boxing Elite Championship. Picture: LONDON BOXING Islington Boxing Club's Darren Ballinger (white) and team mate Mo Gharib (red) battled it out in the semi-finals of the London Boxing Elite Championship. Picture: LONDON BOXING

Conteh picked up a great win in the quarter-finals, using a variety of punches to the head and body to keep former National Junior ABA champion Romario Wallace at bay. That was enough to frustrate the Repton man and hand Conteh a 4-1 split decision.

The semi-final pitted Conteh with Jonathan Francois of West Ham, who represented Grenada in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Conteh had previously lost against Francois on an Islington Boxing Club Open Show in December but secured a unanimous win with his eye catching punches and higher work rate.

Francois had reached the semi’s with a close 3-2 split victory over Islington’s Inder Bassi, who got to the quarters after scheduled opponent, Kris Singh of Lion ABC, had withdrew from their preliminary bout with illness.

But after wining the first round Bassi was pinned back by the West Ham man and he took the win.

In the U60kg category Darren Ballinger made it to Thursday’s final after defeating team mate Mo Gharib in the semi-final.

While not ideal from the club’s point of view, both boxers gave it their all in a very close and competitive contest which went to a 3-2 split decision in favour of Ballinger.

He had defeated Billy Beer and Gharib saw off England Boxing Southern Area title holder Youssef Khamari in the quarter-finals, both on split decisions.

National Development Championship finalist, Jerome Campbell, entered the championship for the first time but his progress was stopped by Jack Brooker of Northolt ABC, a member of the GB Boxing Podium Potential team, in an action-packed bout.

However, despite some good straight shots and counter punches from Campbell, Brooker got the unanimous decision.

There was no joy either for Troy Smart against Louie Lynn in the U56kg semi-final as he also lost to a unanimous decision.

And Chris Onwuegbusi also bowed out, losing to William Webber of Lion ABC in the U75kg quarter-finals.

Amy Broadhurst will be on Thursday night’s bill in an England Boxing Southern Area title belt eliminator at U60kgs against Louise Orton of St Mary’s.

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