IslingtonTribune

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Brightest boxing talents at big fight night

Under sparkling chandeliers at the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury, hundreds of fans enjoy top-class bouts

10 November, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Chris Cunningham puts on an explosive performance under the chandeliers

THE action lit up the ring even brighter than the sparkling chandeliers hanging overhead on Friday as hundreds of fight fans poured into the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury to enjoy a night of top class boxing.

There was no better way for Islington Boxing Club to start their latest successful dinner show than with a bout against the neighbours as their talented junior William Nantu took on Camden’s Callum Smith from St Pancras Amateur Boxing.

Islington’s newly-crowned national champion Charlotte Briant continued her winning streak with an impressive showing against 1860 Munich’s Sasika Bajin

It was the first time that either fighter had stepped between the ropes in over a year, but there were no signs of ring rust as they put on a spectacular showcase of pinpoint punches and slick movement at the hotel in Bedford Way.

Shannon Courtenay, and her Islington BC coach Bob Anderson, celebrate her victory over Natasha Taylor, pictured with her St Paul’s Boxing Academy coach
Fighting at 47kg, both boys enjoyed spells of dominance but in the end it was Nantu’s arm that was raised in victory as he won the contest by a unanimous decision.

William Nantu, who stepped between the ropes for the host club, came out on top against Callum Smith from St Pancras ABC

It was three for three in three for Islington’s Azeem Bakare as he unanimously beat Charlie Mullins from High Wycombe ABC. Competing at 71kg, it took Bakare time to find his range – but when he did he soon overwhelmed his opponent to make it three wins from three fights in three weeks.

Home Fighter of the Night Lamin Conteh, right, with Germany’s Jab Daniel from 1860 Munich, who won the Best Away Fighter of the Night Award despite losing via a split decision against Martin McDonagh from Rumbles Boxing Academy

The Home Fighter of the Night Award was presented to Lamin Conteh following his battling performance against Harwich ABC’s Paul Gordon. Conteh made a bright start to the 70kg bout and dominated the opening round. He started to fade in the second with Gordon arguably finishing the stronger but, in the end, the Islington man did just enough to win the fight via a split decision.
Islington continued to reign in the ring with Shannon Courtenay beating Natasha Taylor from St Paul’s Boxing Academy in Hull via a split decision in her first ever élite contest.

Azeem Bakare made it three wins in three weeks for Islington Boxing Club

Competing at 58kg, Courtenay recovered from a slow start that saw her lose the opening round to overcome Taylor. She landed the cleaner shots, with the referee giving Taylor a standing eight count in the second round.

Meanwhile Charlotte Briant comfortably won all three rounds against 1860 Munich’s Sasika Bajin, who had flown in from Germany especially for the dinner show.

Islington’s newly crowned National Development Champion got better as the rounds wore on against Bajin, sealing a unanimous victory, and with it yet another trophy to take back to gym in Hazellville Road, Upper Holloway – which is a stone’s throw from her home.

Chris Cunningham also put in an explosive performance underneath the chandeliers as he dominated his bout against Jeremy Achony from Rumbles Boxing Academy, winning the 76kg showdown via a unanimous decision.

Islington Boxing Club manager Reggie Hagland said: “We had over 500 fans turning up to support us, and it was fantastic to be able to reward them with a top night of boxing.

“I also want to thank Warwick Estates, the club is very thankful for their continued support and sponsorship.”

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