National title glory for Islington boxer Jordan

Islington Boys Club celebrate as teenage star wins welterweight crown

islington has a new national champion after Jordan Grannum boxed his way to title glory on Sunday.

The 18-year-old from Islington Boxing Club won his welterweight Class A final at the Senior Novice Championships, with a high-quality 31-9 points win over Kevin Cubbin from Liverpool’s Marsh Lane ABC.

The victory continued Grannum’s unbeaten record in the ring and was the climax to a title trail that had seen him win seven fights starting back in October to reach Sunday’s final.

That took place at the Elmbridge in Hainult, Essex where a packed house watched Grannum join other nationaal champions across the weight and class divisions.

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The Class A category was for boxers with under 10 bouts on their record before the tournament began, a criteria Grannum satisfied as he entered his first tournament since moving up to the senior ranks last September.

His progress to the final had been impressive enough, but his display on Sunday was his best yet as he totally outclassed his opponent.

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In the opening round, Grannum used the jab to great effect, constantly spearing Cubbin with single, double and triple jabs. Cubbin was also constantly caught by Grannum’s right hands. Grannum was using the ring to great effect, moving out of the way and making his opponent miss.

Towards the end of the round, Grannum started to use the left hook and repeatedly caught Cubbin as he came rushing in.

The second round saw Cubbin come back into things. The Liverpudlian upped the pace with two handed attacks, but Grannum tucked up well and was still landing with sneaky counters when up close.

Towards the end of the round Grannum started to slow downand it looked like he was finally starting to feel the pace after his bright start in the opener.

However, any doubts that Grannum was losing control of the bout were dismissed in the final session when Grannum once again showed his quality, putting his foot on the gas to throw a variety of punches and overwhelm Cubbin, who was hanging on at the final bell.

The result was as wide as was predicted; 31-9 in favour of the Islington boxer who joins the club’s illustrious list of national champions.

Meanwhile Islington junior Patrick Ward is through to the London semi-finals of the National Schoolboy Championships after winning two bouts in the past week.

Ward, 14, has been entered into the 44-46kgs Class 2 category and battled through to win the north-west division last week.

First on Thursday he was in action in familiar territory, as his semi-final bout with Dale Youth’s slick southpaw Danny Keenan was hosted by Finchley ABC’s open show at the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park.

Keenan started well but Ward found his feet towards the end of the first round, and in the second his rapid counterpunching turned the bout his way.

In the third round Ward cemented his advantage and took a unanimous points win to reach the divisional final.

That was held on Saturday, at Earlsfield ABC in Wandsworth, where Ward met Daniel Barrett of Park Royal’s Hooks ABC.

Barrett employed a similar strategy to Keenan as he opted for the fast start to keep Ward on the outside whilst delivering some rapid combinations.

It was evident that Barrett had done his homework though as Ward had his work cut out trying to land his solid shots on an ever elusive opponent.

In the second round Ward began to find his range a bit more but the third round was make or break and both dug deep to bring the fight to a rousing finale.

It looked close but Ward had done just enough, taking a majority verdict from the ringside judges and taking the north-west divisional title.

Ward now progresses to the London semi-finals where he will meet one of the three other divisional champions this Saturday in Hornchurch, Essex.

However, there was no such joy for Islington BC’s other junior and Ward’s cousin Son McDonagh, who lost out in his semi-final bout in the 46-48kgs Class 3 category.

McDonagh was beaten by Northolt ABC’s Jack Brooker, despite a strong start that saw the Islington boxer take an early lead.

But Brooker battled back in rounds two and three, and took the judges’ verdict to progress to the divisional final.

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