Islington BC’s long list of champions begins in 1985 as Beckles wins ABA
- Credit: Archant
Islington Boxing Club has produced many London, regional, national and international champions over the years.
In 1985, John Beckles became their first Senior ABA champion when he won the light-heavyweight title – he also won the ABA light-heavyweight title in 1987 with Fairbairn ABC – and more national champions followed.
Michael Scott won NABC titles in 1988, 1989 and 1990, a Junior ABA championship and Senior London ABA title, while also representing Young England.
Danny Oliver and Mark Mbachu also won NABC titles in 1990 and the club’s successful and talented team of junior boxers also consisted of Stuart Green (Junior ABA, Schoolboy champion, England rep), John Gallagher (Junior ABA, Schoolboy, NABC champion) and Ryan Cummings (Junior ABA champion) to just name a few.
Courtney Fry won an NABC title in 1993, the first of many National championships, and claimed the club’s second Senior ABA light-heavyweight championship in 1996.
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Fry was also a regular England international who went onto box in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, along with Audley Harrison – himself a member of IBC in the mid 90s who won a London ABA title with the club.
Harrison and Fry both moved to Repton ABC and won Commonwealth Games gold in 1998 and two 2 ABA titles each – Harrison in 1997-98, Fry in 1998 with Repton and 2001 with Salisbury ABC.
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And Harrison won the Olympic super-heavyweight gold in Australia, while Fry lost in the opening round of the competition.
In honour of Fry’s achievements in amateur boxing, IBC named the ‘Best Newcomer’ award after him and the trophy has been handed out annually since 2010 at prizegiving events.
Tommy Kerrigan won the Junior Cadets (U80kg) in 2015, but only boxed once at the National quarter-final stages as others suddenly withdrew from the championships prior to the finals.
The year before he was left heartbroken when his opponent in a straight National Schools final withdrew on the day of their bout, despite weighing in and passing the doctor.
In April 2019, the club had two champions crowned at the National Elite Amateur Championship Finals with lightweight Masood Abdullah (U60kg) becoming Islington’s first male senior elite champion since Fry.
Welterweight Jem Campbell (U69kg) was IBC’s other winner, carrying on a recent run of female national champions throughout the past seven years, and Sunni Torgman, Alexandra Petcu and Luan Veras joined the IBC honour roll most recently.
Islington BC has also had many international representatives from different counties, including England, Ireland, Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia and Dominica to name a few.
England reps from IBC have included Fry, Harrison, Mark Alexander, Beckles, Darren Ballinger, Cherrelle Brown, Daniel Dubois, Mason Smith, Jerome Campbell and more. Young England reps have included Lenny Hagland, Green, Gallagher, Scott, Oliver and more.
Abdullah and Campbell both represented England in the 2019 Three Nations Championships, winning on their debuts for the Three Lions and becoming British champions.
Reece Shagourie represented Jamaica in various international shows and tournaments including the Pan-Am Games, World Amateur Boxing Championships and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Ryan Charles was captain of the St Lucian national team and competed for his country in many tournaments that included Olympic trails and various AIBA championships.
Charles boxed at cruiserweight (U86kg) when competing for Islington but mainly at heavyweight (U91kgs) for St Lucia and in his last contests as an amateur at light-heavyweight (U81kg) for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 2014.
Valerian Spicer represented Dominica and also took part in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and various other international tournaments during her time with the club.
Amy Broadhurst has competed for Ireland in various international tournaments at Junior, Youth and Senior level and is an 18-time Irish champion and three-time European Championship gold medalist.
Former London Elite Champion Shaun Thomas, who regularly comes over to compete for IBC from Australia, has boxed for his home country and Collingwood BC teammate Jason Mallia, who boxed for IBC in seven contests in six weeks, is a multiple Australian champion who represented the Aussies at the AIBA World Championships in 2019.