Islington newcomers box clever on dinner show debuts

Rachel Holifield with London ABA chairman Keith Walters

Rachel Holifield with London ABA chairman Keith Walters - Credit: Archant

A trio of senior Islington BC debutants all recorded victories on the club’s dinner show at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square.

Newcomer Rachel Holifield, afforded the loudest cheer of the night when she was introduced to the crowd, got her Islington career under way with a unanimous points decision against Barbara Young (Hayes ABC).

Holifield, constantly using the double jab and following up with some accurate right-handers, was on top throughout and jabbed and moved in the final round to coast home.

Another Islington debutant, Jordan Prince, took home the award for best boxer on the night after a comfortable win over Carlos Moran of Miguel’s ABC.

Following a bad-tempered opening round, Prince found his composure, backing Moran against the ropes and firing off fast combinations, and a powerful right in the last session left his opponent clinging on.

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There was also a winning start for cruiserweight Mateusz Szczepkowski, who overcame stubborn resistance from fellow newcomer Adam Gill (Harrow & District).

Gill won the opening round, but the Islington fighter worked well behind his jab in the next two and landed right-handers to both head and body as he clinched a unanimous verdict.

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Islington’s Anthony Ward made a successful return to the ring after more than a year out, taking a unanimous decision against Krystian Michniak (Hanwell ABC).

Ward’s superior work-rate kept him in control and he used the single jab to set up the vast majority of his attacks, constantly working the body of Michniak, who was eventually saved by the bell.

Ryan Charles, who had recently returned from the World Amateur Championships in Kazakhstan, failed to make use of his considerable reach advantage against Ossie Jervier (Finchley ABC).

Jervier succeeded in smothering his opponent up close and, although the contest ignited in the final minute with Charles landing a series of blows, the decision went in favour of the Finchley fighter.

There was a victorious Islington debutant in the junior section, where Alfie Andrews – who has joined the Hazellville Road club from Times ABC – gained a first-round stoppage against Max Holden (Five Star).

Working behind his southpaw jab, the strong Andrews caught Holden several times with powerful straight backhands and the referee halted the contest midway through the first round.

Islington’s Malachi Borrell also stopped his Five Star opponent Eddie Delaney, working behind a solid jab and mixing in straight right hands and body shots before the bout was halted in the final round.

A mixture of classy boxing and raw aggression earned Islington’s Gerrard McDonagh victory over George Liddard (Billericay) on points, following three close and entertaining rounds.

Islington’s Jack Sinnott was also victorious, taking a unanimous points decision against George Stephenson (Billericay).

Sinnott held the centre of the ring in the first round, forcing his opponent back with double jabs and head to body combinations.

Although Stephenson did his best to respond in the second and third rounds, the Islington boxer stood his ground and kept up the pressure.

Islington’s Christy McCarthy lost out on a unanimous points decision against an older and heavier opponent, George Lock (Hornchurch), despite a late rally.

McCarthy struggled to find his range early on, with Lock boxing behind his southpaw jab and landing the cleaner punches.

While the Islington boxer did his best to force the pace in the final round, it was not enough to swing the verdict in his favour.

Lion ABC’s Bobby Ouzman maintained his unbeaten record with victory over Charlie Menelove (Finchley) at the Hooks ABC show in Harrow.

But there was disappointment on the same show for another Lion boxer, last year’s national novices champion Zac Farrugia, who lost a unanimous decision to the home club’s more experienced Mohammed Abid.

Meanwhile, Lion’s London CYP champion Louis Isaacs will be back in action on Saturday when he fights for a place in the national Under-60kg semi-finals in Camberley.

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