Islington Boxing Club captain claims second divisional title

Jeff Ofori (left) in action against Y Haykal

Jeff Ofori (left) in action against Y Haykal - Credit: Archant

Islington BC captain Jeff Ofori collected his second successive North West London title in the opening stage of the renamed Development Championships at Hayes.

Ofori, last season’s Class A Under-64kg champion in a tournament then known as the senior novices championships, secured his place in this year’s Class B London finals after overcoming Y Haykal (Finchley) in the contest of the night.

Although the Islington fighter stood off his man during the first two rounds, he upped his work-rate in the third and began to land successful punches.

In the final round, Ofori scored with a series of combinations to earn a standing ovation from the crowd and a unanimous points decision from the judges.

He will be joined in the London finals by Georgiou Andreou, whose eagerly-awaited debut for Islington, against T James (All Stars) in the Class A Under-64kg, lasted just 30 seconds.

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Andreou got on top with a number of strong right-hand punches and the referee gave a standing eight count – but it then became clear that the All Stars man had dislocated his shoulder and the contest was immediately halted.

There was disappointment for another trio of Islington boxers, with Jack Rowe edged out on a split decision in his Class A Under-81kg quarter-final against W Theophane (Dale Youth).

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Theophane enjoyed greater success in the opening stages, catching his opponent with straight left shots and, although Rowe did respond, his timing was frequently off.

A split decision also ended the hopes of Kenyon ‘Sherman’ Reid, who boxed A Dilloway (Dale Youth) in the Class A Under-69kg final.

There was little to choose between the pair, both of whom were warned – Dilloway twice and Reid once, for low use of the head – but it was the Dale Youth man who got the verdict.

Troy Smart put up a strong performance in his Class B Under-56kg final against former national novices champion J Teal (Dale Youth) before he was defeated on a unanimous decision.

After a cagey first round, Smart started to find his rhythm and land some eye-catching shots, but Teal switched tactics towards the end of the fight, giving his opponent no room to score with combinations.

Two more Islington fighters, Sherif Musah (Class B Under-81kg) and Scott Smart (Class A Under-56kg) received walkovers to the London finals, which take place this weekend at the TA Centre, Grove Park.

Eleven-year-old Jack Boylan made his Islington debut in a skills bout on Saturday at a Hornchurch and Elm ANC show, while Christopher Ward boxed in his first competitive bout and lost on points.

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