Islington fighter triumphs on heavyweight debut in Bournemouth

Islington BC's Sherif Musah

Islington BC's Sherif Musah - Credit: Archant

Sherif Musah made a successful step up to heavyweight as Islington BC recorded five wins out of five on the Arena ABC show in Bournemouth.

Musah, who won the national development title at light-heavyweight last year, moved up for the first time at Bournemouth and beat the experienced Chris Billam-Smith (Poole ABC) on a split decision.

Billam-Smith, a former national novices champion who was returning to the ring after a lengthy injury absence, landed the more eye-catching shots in a lively opening round.

But the Islington man increased his work-rate in the second, becoming more comfortable with his range and inflicting a standing eight count as he forced Billam-Smith onto the back foot.

The momentum switched as the pair exchanged blows in the final round, but the verdict went in Musah’s favour to round off a successful night for the Hazellville Road club.

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Twelve-year-old Kerem Sertten got the ball rolling with a win by unanimous decision against Harley Macphearson-Collins (Moneyfields ABC), using his southpaw jab to good effect and displaying excellent footwork.

It was Sertten’s third consecutive victory in an Islington vest, as well as a first success for the club’s new junior coach Barry Healy since his move from St Margaret’s Tralee ABC in Ireland.

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Haringey Box Cup gold medallist Rachel Holifield produced one of her best performances as she overcame Stephanie Clark (Littlehampton ABC) by unanimous decision.

The Islington light-welterweight troubled Clark throughout with her double jab and, although Holifield was also caught with a couple of overhand rights towards the end, it was not enough to alter the outcome of the contest.

Borys Feldman triumphed on a split decision in his 69kg clash with Bobby Collard (Horseshoe ABC), taking control of the fight and at times forcing his opponent into the corners of the ring.

Dwayne Taylor – boxing for Islington for the first time in four years – made his comeback in an 82kg contest against Lucas Campion (Arena ABC), who was himself returning after a two-year hiatus.

Taylor looked tentative at the outset and lost the opening round, but he then stepped up the pace, working well on the inside and finishing strongly to claim a majority verdict.

Islington super-heavyweight Stefan Novakovic suffered a nightmare debut as he was forced to retire with torn knee ligaments after less than a minute against Nathan Hylton (Finchley ABC).

Novakovic, boxing on the Hooks ABC show, had neither thrown nor taken many punches when he buckled, injuring his left knee, and was unable to stand properly, forcing the referee to halt proceedings.

Islington’s Simon Collins lost on a split decision to home boxer S Lawal on the St Pancras ABC show at the Camden Irish Centre.

Collins started slowly and, although he stepped up the pace during the second half of the fight, it was not enough.

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