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Lion ABC’s Louis Isaacs had to tough it out against Lee Mills (St Mary’s) before advancing to the last four of the England Youth Championships.

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Isaacs was made to battle in Sunday’s Class A Under-60kg quarter-final at Harlow, with his opponent willing to stand and trade punches in the centre of the ring.

After a close opening round, the Lion boxer upped the pace and caught Mills with some hard right hooks to the head, forcing him to box off the ropes.

In a feverish final round, Isaacs continued to hold his own and did enough to have his arm raised at the bell for a majority decision that confirmed his progress to the semi-final.

The 16-year-old will now face Home Counties champion Isaac Draper (Stevenage) on Saturday in Portsmouth for a place in the final.

n Lion ABC achieved a full house – but a disappointing win ratio, with only two victories from 12 contests at their first open show of the year on Friday.

Billy Underwood boxed well in his bout against Tommy Ball (Guildford), using his left jab and slipping out of range of his opponent’s counter-punches to take a unanimous decision.

Lion’s national senior novices champion Zak Farrugia was unable to deal with the reach of George Hillier (Stevenage) who, at 6ft 1in, was his tallest opponent to date.

Farrugia struggled to land many telling blows and, although he forced his opponent onto the ropes in the second round with a series of body shots, it was not enough to swing the decision in his favour.

However, home boxer Bradley Messer was extremely unlucky to come out on the wrong end of a majority decision against Cameron Matthews (Colchester).

The Lion fighter dominated the contest and, although one judge scored it 30-27 in his favour, the other two bizarrely awarded their decisions to Matthews, 29-28.

The only other winner for the Hoxton club was Matteo Lussu, taking a unanimous decision against Mewnya Chisanga (St Gerard’s), who had points deducted for holding in both the second and third rounds.

There were two skills bouts, with Lion pair Harry Robbins and Harry Little boxing Nathan Farmer (Guildford) and Muhammed Ali (City of London Police) respectively.

Lion boxers Michael McDonagh, John McDonagh and James Carlyle all suffered defeats by majority decision, while unanimous verdicts went against Amo Singh, Kristian Singh, Alex Richardson and Jamie Hezelgrave. Senior boxer Francis Brobby was stopped in the first round by Carl Tudor (Dynamo).

n Amo Singh is the only Lion fighter on the card when the club host the start of the London North East Schools’ Championships this weekend.

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