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Islington trio ready for new-look tournament

L-r: Safi Abdullah, Tyrone Negasi, Ben Turner L-r: Safi Abdullah, Tyrone Negasi, Ben Turner

Ben Kosky
Friday, January 10, 2014
7:15 AM

Islington BC chairman Lenny Hagland has backed a shake-up of amateur boxing as the club’s youngsters prepare for their first tournament under new rules.

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Safi Abdullah, Tyrone Negasi and junior club captain Ben Turner are all entered to box in the inaugural England Youth Championships, which get under way during the coming week.

The tournament, which in effect replaces the junior ABA Championships, brings into force several new directives introduced by the sport’s world governing body, the AIBA.

Bouts now comprise three three-minute rounds, which will be scored by judges along professional lines instead of the electronic ‘clicker’ system previously employed.

Amateur boxers are now split into three distinct age groupings and the Islington trio – who are all 16 – are likely to be facing older opponents when they compete in the North West London divisional round at Hayes Working Men’s Club next Wednesday.

“Some boxers have had to adapt their style and their training, but a lot of it is psychological,” said Hagland. “If you can do three two-minute rounds, you can pace yourself at a slightly slower rate to do 3x3.

“I’m all in favour of the changes – they’ve brought us in line with Europe and the rest of the world. We’ve been lagging behind for many years and I think this will raise standards.

“The scoring method will mirror the pro system. From now on a guy who throws one jab and runs can’t rely on the clicker – he isn’t necessarily going to win.

“It’ll also make each judge accountable for what they put down, which I think is a good thing – and I’m a judge myself!”

Negasi, who reached the NABC final last month, will box at Under-52kg, with Turner, an NABC semi-finalist, at Under-64kg and Abdullah at Under-56kg – all in Class A.

Lion ABC, who are staging the North East London section at their Hoxton base on Friday night, field two Class A entries, Louis Isaacs (Under-63kg) and Billy Underwood (Under-66kg).

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