Islington star strikes gold in Caribbean championships
PUBLISHED: 17:21 19 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:21 19 June 2013
Islington BC’s Ryan Charles claimed his first international gold medal for St Lucia at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Boxing Championships.
Charles, who recently joined the PureGym on Holloway Road as a personal trainer, clinched gold in St Lucia after being forced to move up to the heavyweight category in order to compete.
A knockout semi-final performance against St Vincent’s Kermon Beach set up a clash with former Olympic heavyweight trialist Stefan John in the final.
And, in a finely balanced contest, a big right hand in the last round was enough for the 26-year-old to secure the gold medal in the country of his mother’s birth.
“I have come on leaps and bounds since my recent transfer to Islington Boxing Club,” said Charles, who also picked up the best boxer of the tournament award.
“This is due to the high quality sparring I am receiving from my fellow heavyweight and cruiserweights, not to mention the work of my coaches.”
The result gave the Holloway Road gym their first international gold medal, much to the delight of manager David Banisadeghian.
“We are very proud of Ryan’s achievement in St Lucia,” he said. “For him to win gold while representing the country of his mother was a very special moment for him.”
And Charles continued his run of good form with victory at the Small Holdings ABC show on Sunday after knocking out Balham’s Tyrone Williams in the opening round.
The Islington fighter weathered an early storm from Williams, but a strong right from Charles, followed by a glancing left hook, sent his opponent sprawling to settle the contest early.
However, Islington junior John McDonagh lost out to Small Holdings’ Charlie Cousins by unanimous decision – and super-heavyweight Christian Nwofor did not fare so well either.
Nwofor dropped a unanimous decision to Vulcan FC’s Ryan Fuller at Leamington Spa, in the first ever all-heavyweight club show to be staged in the UK.
The Yorkshire & North Humberside boxer capitalised on his height advantage of more than a foot and kept Nwofor – who was largely second best throughout – at bay.