Strong start for Islington Boxing Club teenager on home show

Islington BC's Joshua Strong was named best home boxer on his debut at the club's open show at the B

Islington BC's Joshua Strong was named best home boxer on his debut at the club's open show at the Boston Arms. Pic: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

Islington BC’s Joshua Strong made a memorable debut as he was named home boxer of the night on the club’s open show at the Boston Arms.

The 13-year-old took on Tommy Ward (Uxbridge ABC) in a 52kg contest and kept his opponent on the back foot throughout, giving him a standing eight count in both the second and third rounds.

It was no surprise when Strong gained the victory by unanimous decision and he also took the boxer of the night award to round off a successful show for the Hazellville Road club.

However, Strong was the only Islington junior to sample victory on the night, with the club’s other three winners – Aaron Nicely, James Costanzo and Conrad Francis – all drawn from the senior ranks.

Light-heavyweight Nicely edged a close contest against former Islington boxer Malik Kareem (Rumbles BA), who lost the opening round but then upped his work-rate to draw level.

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However, Nicely produced the cleaner punches in the final round, which proved decisive as his opponent – who was nevertheless named best away boxer of the night – began to swing wildly.

Islington’s Chris Stornelli was a little unlucky not to secure victory in his middleweight clash with Nomads ABC southpaw Jordan Hornblow, who claimed a split decision.

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Costanzo got Islington back on track with his second successive win for the club, keeping the pressure on Mikel Thomas (Dale Youth ABC) and forcing him onto the back foot to take a unanimous decision in their light-middleweight clash.

Francis was also victorious against a Dale Youth opponent, overcoming Elliot Hughes with a technical knockout at the end of the third round.

The Islington boxer pressured Hughes, who took a standing eight count in the opening round but continued to withstand pressure until late on, when he was caught by a hard shot to the head that ended the contest.

In the junior bouts, Islington’s William Nantu took on a previous skills opponent, Johnny Love (Holland ABC) – but the latter showed better work-rate to gain a split decision in their 38kg clash.

There was an impressive debut performance from 15-year-old Kervern Kiala (Islington) at 52kg, but it was opponent Javir Sangar (Gator ABC) who took the decision from the judges.

Another Islington youngster, Cam’ron Glenn-Gladstone, also made his competitive debut at 40kg but was not at his best after suffering with ‘flu in the build-up to the show and dropped a unanimous verdict to Tommy Lake (Northolt ABC).

Islington’s Kerem Sertten appeared to be lacking confidence in his 30kg contest against fellow southpaw Jimmy Dean Lee (Repton ABC), who took the verdict by split decision.

And there was disappointment for Islington newcomer Jayven Wilson, who was unable to match late replacement Degole Bremer (County ABC) and his corner threw in the towel during the third round.

There were also four skills contests on the show. Ten-year-old Islington pair Oscar Spencer-Gittens and Liam Byrne faced Kaizer Syed (Gator ABC) and Jimmy McDonagh (Northolt ABC) respectively, both at 32kg.

Islington’s Harry Betteridge, 12, took on Frankie Whealen (St Albans ABC) at 38kg, while 11-year-old Sonny Devine received a late call-up to face Jibril Burleen (Gator ABC) at 32kg.

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