Islington boxer wins historic silver medal in Serbia

Valerian Spicer, Islington BC

Valerian Spicer, Islington BC - Credit: Archant

Islington BC’s Valerian ‘The Dame’ Spicer has made history by securing her country’s first ever international podium finish at the Nations Cup tournament in Serbia.

Spicer, who represents her mother’s homeland Dominica, went into the tournament with a modest three international bouts to her name – but won another three in a row to qualify for the lightweight final.

However, that proved to be one step too far for the Islington fighter, who had to settle for the silver medal after going down to Natalia Shadrina of Russia, the 2013 Nations Cup champion.

Spicer, who boxed for Dominica at last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, opened her Nations Cup account with a difficult match-up against Eftichia Kathopouli of Cyprus.

The Islington boxer took the centre of the ring from the first bell, working behind the jab and scoring consistently with straight backhands and left hooks as she took a unanimous 3-0 decision.

You may also want to watch:

The experienced Kazakhstan fighter Rimma Volossenko was Spicer’s next opponent – and her attempts to advance were met with a barrage of stiff, straight punches.

Although the Kazakh boxer made a concerted effort to take control in the second round, Spicer held firm and went on to win all four rounds as she progressed to the last four.

Most Read

There she faced China’s Yazhou Shi who, despite experience of boxing at the 2013 World Youth Championships, found herself on the back foot for the majority of the contest.

Spicer asserted her authority in the opening round with a series of crisp long-range punches and left hook counters, dominating from the centre of the ring to seal a 3-0 unanimous scoreline.

In the final, the Islington fighter struggled to maintain her distance, with Shadrina stalking her from the start in a bid to land her trademark hooks and uppercuts.

Spicer was unable to regain the rhythm of her previous bouts as the Russian produced the more effective punches at mid to short range and deservedly clinched the gold medal with a 2-0 scoreline from the judges.

The Hazellville Road club were also represented in Serbia by light-welterweight Cherrelle Brown, but she was edged out 2-1 at the first hurdle by Madina Nurshaeva of Kazakhstan.

Islington BC will be holding their first open show of the new year on Thursday February 5 at the Boston Dome, Tufnell Park. Doors open at 7pm, with boxing due to get under way an hour later.

Advance tickets are available at £10 for adults and £5 for those aged 16 and under, either from the Hazellville Road gym or from the club’s events manager Mick Docherty.

Anyone interested in sponsorship packages, or advertising in the programme, should also contact Mick Docherty on 07921 724 601 or email

The club are fielding one entrant in the England Youth Championships – two-time national schools’ champion Tyrane Wynter, who boxes in the Under-56kg category.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter