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Islington Boxing Club fighter credits his coaches after reaching national semi-final

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 October 2016

Islington BC's Jerome Campbell with coaches Darren Smith (left) and JR Richards after his win in the National Development Championship quarter-final

Islington BC's Jerome Campbell with coaches Darren Smith (left) and JR Richards after his win in the National Development Championship quarter-final

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Islington BC's Jerome Campbell praised his coaching team after reaching the last four of the National Development Championship with a confident display on Sunday.

Campbell was a clear winner in his Class B Under-60kg quarter-final clash with Home Counties champion Benjamin Duncan (Bletchley ABC) at Banbury, taking a unanimous points decision.

The 25-year-old will box for a place in the national final this weekend at Ipswich Town FC, alongside Islington clubmates Mateusz Szczepkowski (Class B Under-91kg) and Amy Andrew (Class B Under-57kg).

“I had a very good third round, but I credit that to the advice and guidance given to me by my two corner men and coaches, Darren Smith and John Richards,” said Campbell.

“I clearly remember Darren telling me that he was open through the middle and to bring up the uppercut, so I did exactly that and landed a fair amount of them during that last round.

“He was naturally bigger, although I feel my skill set was a lot deeper in variety.

“Along with my hand speed and punch selection I think that’s what maybe the judges favoured as opposed to Benjamin’s heavily loaded punches.

“I will keep sharp training at Islington, along with a few road runs to keep the weight off – this way I can ensure I stay ready to hopefully book my place in the national final.”

Campbell began cautiously on the back foot, but looked comfortable and grew in confidence as he allowed Duncan to walk onto a series of sharp, straight combinations.

The Islington fighter forced his opponent back during the second round, displaying greater physical strength and reeling off a series of damaging punches.

Duncan looked demoralised in the final round, missing with a number of lunging haymakers and Campbell repeatedly caught him at will to wrap up the win and a semi-final spot.

However, there was disappointment for Islington’s Amy Pu, who lost out on a split decision in her Class A Under-60kg quarter-final contest against Roseanna Allen (Essex Uni).

Pu, aiming to avenge her loss to Allen on an Islington BC dinner show earlier this year, began strongly as she exchanged jabs before landing a string of blows to the head.

However, the Essex fighter increased her work-rate, doubling up on her jabs, and did just enough to edge the final round with shots that were stronger, although less frequent.

Islington’s Demi Carter was eliminated from the tournament behind closed doors following an unsavoury incident at her quarter-final venue in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire ABA supervisor called off the show after clashes in the car park led to several vehicles being vandalised, but allowed Carter’s Class A Under-75kg contest to go ahead with officials and coaches present.

After a delay of two and a half hours, the former Haringey Box Cup gold medallist finally entered the ring to take on Shauna Stanton (Felling Warriors).

Carter made good use of her jab, catching her opponent with clean shots, but Stanton began to find some momentum and carried it into the second round.

The Tyneside boxer landed some telling punches and, despite a tight final round, the verdict went in her favour as Carter returned empty-handed.

“I wasn’t at my best and felt I could have beaten her but it just wasn’t my day,” Carter admitted. “I’m now aiming to compete on club shows for the rest of the season and drop down in weight slowly.”

n Former London amateur champion Billy Underwood, who hails from Islington, has turned professional with Archie Warren and his father Frank’s Queensberry Promotions stable.

Underwood started his career with Angel ABC before moving to Lion ABC, where he won the Under-75kg London title at the National Association of Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Championships.

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