Islington youngster Kejai Bryan crowned National Schools champion

Kejai Bryan with his Islington Boxing Club coaches

Kejai Bryan with his Islington Boxing Club coaches - Credit: Islington BC

In just his second fight, Islington Boxer Kejai Bryan won the National Schools Championships at U80kgs, Class A (born 2007).  

The 13-year-old defeated previously unbeaten Mason Butcher (Pinewood) via split decision in the last contest of the day of the England Boxing National Schools Championship Finals at Vertru Motors Arena, Newcastle.  

Kejai Bryan of Islington BC celebrates his victory

Kejai Bryan of Islington BC celebrates his victory - Credit: Islington BC

Bryan, who has been difficult to match in the past due to his size and weight, met the more experienced Butcher, who was a reigning National Schools Champion with the Crowthorne club in 2019 at U44kgs. 

Kejai forced Butcher onto the back foot throughout the contest and both boys had their success. 

Thankfully it was Kejai who earned the split decision verdict of the ringside judges after 3x1.5s.  

Kejai Bryan of Islington BC in action

Kejai Bryan of Islington BC in action - Credit: Islington BC

No one was more nervous beforehand – or prouder afterwards – than Kejai’s dad, Pep, a coach for both the junior and senior competitive squads at the Hazellville Road club.  

The youngster will now hope to box on a couple of club shows for the remainder of the season and will be a possible entrant into the Junior Championships in 2022.  

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He has been invited to take part in an England training camp in Leicester towards the end of the month. 

Islington’s last schools champion before Kejai was former member Caroline Dubois, who went onto win multiple national titles as various clubs across London and European/World honours as an international for England and GB as a junior and youth before representing GB in the recent Olympic Games.    

Islington were close to having two champions, as Cianan Campbell (U56kgs, Class B – Born 2008) lost via split decision against Johnny Crittenden (Pinewood), another unbeaten prospect from the successful Home Counties club.  

Cianan Campbell of Islington BC in action

Cianan Campbell of Islington BC in action - Credit: Islington BC

Campbell, 13, won the day before in the National Schools semi-finals, with the referee stopping the contest in the second round against Abyaan Rayman.  

Rayman won the opening round, however Campbell caught his opponent with a solid shot onto the nose of Rayman which bleed heavily.  

The ringside doctor had a good inspection of the boxer’s nose but it kept pouring blood and there was no choice to stop the contest. 

The club said: “It’s fantastic to have two of our home-grown boxers reach the national finals in their first championships, we hope they both build on from this.  

“This will hopefully inspire their teammates growing up behind to reach these standards in a few years’ time.”