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A controversial decision cost Lion ABC’s Louis Isaacs a place in the final of the England Youth Championships in Portsmouth on Saturday.

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Isaacs looked in command for most of his Class A Under-60kg semi-final against Isaac Draper (Stevenage), but was surprisingly edged out on a majority decision.

Draper, the Home Counties champion, was forced onto the back foot in the opening round and had to withstand a series of left and right hooks.

Although Draper replied with counter-punches in a closer second round, the Lion boxer regained control in the last, switching from head to body with ease.

It looked as if the 16-year-old from the Hoxton club would secure a place in the final – but the announcement of the decision in Draper’s favour drew disquiet from the crowd.

Lion coach Steve Walters told the Gazette: “We know two of the three judges were from the Home Counties, but that should not have made any difference. Isaacs dominated most of the three rounds.”

Lion ABC’s Haithem Laamouz warmed up for next month’s England Senior Championships with an exhibition bout against Denmark’s European silver medallist Ahmed Khattab in Copenhagen.

Laamouz was a member of the North East London team for their match in Copenhagen, but his clash with Khattab eventually had to be downgraded after the Dane weighed in well over the limit.

Laamouz said: “I made the weight easily, but he came in 3kg over, so we had to box an exhibition.

“No result was given but, if it had been, I would have got the decision.”

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