Reuben’s rapid victory rounds off a good night for the newcomers at Islington Boxing Club show

Islington BC's Reuben Hemmings

Islington BC's Reuben Hemmings - Credit: Archant

Reuben Hemmings says he is quite content to go the distance next time following an explosive first-round stoppage on his Islington BC debut.

The 24-year-old southpaw wore the Islington vest for the first time when the club staged their first show of the season at the Boston Dome, Tufnell Park.

It proved to be a brief debut for Hemmings, who floored opponent Abdul Wali (Double Jab ABC) with a powerful right hook to the head in the opening round.

Wali attempted to continue, but he was clearly unsteady on his feet and his corner threw in the towel within seconds – the only stoppage of the night.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Hemmings told the Gazette. “I just went out there to box and I crossed to the body to try and lower his hands, then I came over with the right.

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“It’s no speciality – it was just me trying to create a target for myself, but it caught him off balance and he dropped to the floor. Then I went to take him out and they threw in the towel.

“I don’t think I’m a Mike Tyson – I don’t expect to knock everyone out, I’m not looking to get it out of the way. I’m just trying to win, I like to box and if I win all three rounds I’ll still enjoy it.

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“There were definitely nerves – I had a lot of friends there and I didn’t want to lose in front of them. I certainly didn’t want to get knocked out in front of them.

“So I was really trying to look good – win, lose or draw – and not embarrass myself. Hopefully next time there won’t be so many nerves and I can relax a little bit more.”

Hemmings, who joined the Hazellville Road club earlier this year and quickly progressed, has continued to train there despite moving south of the river recently.

“I heard about the club, went down there and started off in the academy class,” he added. “After about a month I went up to the competitive class, then I asked if I could go on their first show.

“The atmosphere’s good and the sparring’s really competitive, there’s a good standard. Travelling’s been a bit hard since I moved, but I want to keep going.

“I’m not too fussed about the competitive side and I’m a bit old to be thinking about the Olympics or anything like that, but I’ll do anything that the club ask me to do. If they think I’m ready for it, I’ll do it.”

Hemmings was one of several Islington debutants to appear on the 15-bout show, which got under way with two skills bouts, the second of which featured 11-year-old Cam’ron Glenn-Gladstone against Kevin Moldovan (Finchley ABC).

Kerem Serttem, 12, was the next Islington boxer into the ring and he did enough to take a split decision against Harry Mullins (Lynn ABC).

Islington’s Mahad Hussein Ali made his competitive bow in a relentless, action-packed contest against fellow debutant Alex Breen (Eltham ABC).

Both fighters unloaded a flurry of blows throughout the three rounds but, with Ali visibly tiring towards the end, it was Breen who earned victory on a unanimous decision.

Islington’s Conrad Francis began with a win, overcoming Martyn Millard (Eltham ABC) on a unanimous decision, while James Costanzo ended his losing streak against Zwelitsha Mushambadope (St Albans).

Costanzo, who had been beaten in his previous three fights for Finchley ABC before switching to Islington, got stronger as the contest went on and claimed a unanimous decision.

Borys Feldman added another success for the home club, winning a split decision in his clash with Sean Penford (Earlsfield ABC), but there was disappointment for Islington’s Georgiou Andreou.

Andreou was returning to the ring for the first time since he lost to Kamal Hamilton (Gator ABC) last year – and Hamilton proved to be his nemesis again, triumphing on an extremely close split decision.

Islington’s Simon Collins, in his second bout, took a unanimous decision against Moses Mabote (St Albans), but Tait Toumany lost by unanimous verdict to Finchley’s Kevin Oboh.

The night ended on a high note for Islington, with DJ Moore sparkling as he secured the best boxer of the night award with a unanimous decision against Christopher McKenzie (London Community Boxing ABC).

And Lamin Conteh produced a controlled display to clinch a unanimous decision against Ohio Kain (Eltham), jabbing effectively and forcing his opponent onto the ropes for spells of the fight.

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