4 golds from Hull Box Cup
St Marys Boxing Club travelled North with a squad of seven to the Hull Box cup on Friday June 9th. The three day event saw competitors coming not only from all over Britain, but even as further afield as Holland and the Australian national female team! Competition was tough in this open class competition, pitting the best talent from 11-18 year olds. First in action for St Marys in Fridays quarter finals was 15 year old Dion Eede who despite a very good 3rd round, his slow start cost him dearly in this knockout competition. Saturdays Semi final started with 12 year old Alfie Blackman. Blackman was up against a very classy Irish opponent and although he gave a good account of himself, the Irishman was one step ahead and was awarded a points decision. With 2 of the 7 entrants eliminated first time out, the coaching staff were thinking maybe they would be in for an uphill struggle. 15 Year old Jacey Birch was next in against an Irish jnr champion and could have lost the 1st round. However, Birch upped her workrate and outworked her opponent in the next 2 rounds, which earned her a well deserved points win and a place in the finals on Sunday. Next up was 16 year old Karol Itauma. Up against a big punching opponent from Bristol, he gave and took a few meaty punches in an even first round. However, Itaumas superior fitness and body punching caught up with his opponent who was deducted a point for holding in the last round and Karol was also through to the final. Final St Marys boxer of the day was 18 year old Lewis Southgate. Southgate was facing a tall order as he had lost to his Birmingham based England international opponent last year. In a bout that had the crowd enthralled, the Chatham based Southgates improved workrate won the bout and saw him into the finals.
11 year old Tyrone Clarke received a walkover to Sundays final and was up against an Irish opponent. However, the undefeated Clarke was far too sharp and skilful, and was soon landing hurtful punches through the guard of his shorter opponent. The Irish boxer was game and kept coming forward, but had a bad noosbleed and the doctor decided it was best to save him from unnecessary punishment and Clarke had extended his unbeaten record to 6-0, which has been his first season Boxing. Next St Marys Boxer going for Gold was Jacey Birch, pitted against an opponent from the North East. The action ebbed and flowed either way throughout and although St Marys coaches thought that Birch had edged it, 2 of the judges saw it differently, awarding the Gold medal to her opponent. Next in the final was 16 Robert Caswell, who was up against the London champion. Caswell could have been forgiven for having a few nerves, bearing in mind he had already lost to his opponent twice before. However, an improved jab was key for Caswell and he was duly awarded revenge and the Gold medal with a unanimous points win.
Next finalist was Karol Itauma, up against a strong opponent from the Midlands. Yet again, the first round was close, but Karol took over and by the end of the 2nd round his opponent was holding a lot. Itauma had taken over and dominated the final round for clear points win, to take his impressive record to 17 wins, from 18 bouts. Last in was St Marys longest serving junior Boxer Lewis Southgate, taking part in his 49th bout, since he started Boxing at St Marys on his 10th birthday! His opponent was strong and was very confident and Southgate seemed to edge a tight 1st round. In control during the 2nd, he made the mistake of going square on as he tried to land a punch and was punished by a counter which knocked him down for the first time in 49 bouts. More off balance and embarrassed than hurt, Southgate fought like a man possessed for the next round a half! His vicious combination attacks to head and body meant that he overturned the knockdown and was awarded the Gold medal by a split points decision.
4 Golds and 1 silver from 7 entrants is a great return for St Marys and made the 4 hour journey on the team bus seem that little bit quicker, as spirits were high! That was the biggest squad and best medal haul in 3 years at Hull box cup, which proves the squad is growing and going from strength to strength.
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