DAGENHAM Roundhouse hosted the London Elite Championship semi-finals on March 19, when 13 bouts (one female) were needed to decide the finalists at Ilford Coliseum tomorrow (Friday March 25, 7.15pm start).

There is an all-southpaw lightweight final after Hamza Hajee-Sheriff and Giorgio Visioli both won unanimously, over Dettori Brown and Jiyan Oguz respectively.

Hajee-Sheriff (East London Boxing Academy) used his height and reach advantages to control from the outside against Five Star’s Brown, who had been his clubmate until a couple of weeks earlier. The doctor inspected slight damage over Hamza’s left eye in the last but that was his only concern.

Visioli displayed good movement and fast hands to pile up points against Oguz. A big salvo brought the Finchley boxer a count in round two and by the last Visioli could afford to ease off slightly, victory in the bag.

Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice? It certainly did for Amo Singh (Fight For Peace).

In November, Amo (then representing Repton) was disqualified in round three of the London 64kgs final against Mitchell Asare. They met again in a semi at 63.5kgs – and Singh was again thrown out, after being warned for holding in round one and twice for headwork in the second.
It was scrappy rather than dirty, and White Hart Lane’s Asare also received a warning for holding (in round two, before Singh’s warnings). Asare now meets Oliver Donovan (Repton) in the final.

There was better luck for the Singh family when younger brother Ram Singh reached the 67kgs final with a 3-2 split win over Marius Potop (Peacock).

This was the afternoon’s best bout. Singh (Fight For Peace) started fast, using his height and reach to win the first with stinging rights. Potop, London champ in November at 69kgs, roared back in round two and made Singh grab under pressure.

Both had success in the last, with Potop’s single rights scoring – Singh took a count from one – but Ram landing himself with combinations. It could have gone either way, but it’s Singh who faces Cameron McKay (White Hart Lane) in the final.

At 71kgs both semis produced a 4-1 win, for Martin McDonagh (White Hart Lane) over Thomas Benett (Repton) and for Christian Thomas (St Pancras) over Bilal Berkoun (All Stars).

Southpaw McDonagh used fast hands and a busy style to outwork gritty Benett, who was warned for “head” in the last.

Taller Thomas built an early lead over Berkoun that allowed him to survive a last-round rally from the All Stars entry.

Middleweight produced controversy as Dale Youth’s David Dariyon “Denzil” Bennett was disqualified in the last round when seemingly on the way to victory against Kiev-Del Dyer (White Hart Lane).

Each was warned for holding in round one, but when southpaw Bennett dropped Dyer hard in the second it appeared he had taken a firm grip on the bout. But in round three referee Jumbo Basi threw out Bennett for use of the head.

Dyer now meets Jimmy Sains (Repton) in the final, while the 80kgs decider pits Omar Augustine (Earlsfield) against Oladimeji Shittu after the Five Star boxer used his movement and skills to unanimously outscore Dale Youth’s Lucas Roehrig.

Dale will have a finalist, at 86kgs, after Tino Bellot landed good left hooks and right crosses en route to a unanimous victory over Finchley’s Callum Mansell.

The other semi at the weight saw Tim Olla (Romford) make tell his heavier hitting against Daniel Buisha (Don Davies BA), who was counted on late in round three and finished extremely tired.

Jack Daly, November’s London champ at 91kgs, is back in the final at the new 92 weight after unanimously outpointing Mohammed Taleb. ELBA’s Daly landed many hard rights and gave Taleb (Stonebridge) a count in round two.

And it was a big right-hander that decided the other 92kgs semi, Peacock’s Demur Macharashvili landing it on Tyrieq Campbell in round one. The Repton boxer crumbled into the ropes and it was waved off without a count for a “KO” verdict.

In the lone female contest, tall southpaw Paulina Biernat (Afewee) picked off the incoming Bianca Haynes (Churchills) for a unanimous win at 54kgs. Biernat meets Jay Dujon (Repton) in the final.

Straight finals are Yusuf Thahmim (Haringey) vs Darren Bailey (Dagenham) at 54kgs, Billy Adams (Dagenham) vs Aymane Bourhfir (Afewee) at 57kgs, and Mala Misthry (Churchills) vs Elizabeth Palmer-Couzens (Repton) at women’s 57kgs.


Herbie Hide’s son in Eastern Counties final war, writes Martin Webb

EASTERN Counties staged their Elite round of the national championships at Sudbury rugby club on Saturday (March 19), producing four finals.
Bout of the show was at 86kgs, with local hero Jacob Sumner taking on Henry Hide, of Norwich Lads club, son of former WBO heavyweight belt-holder Herbie Hide.

Hide was first out of the blocks with fast hands and feet taking the opener, then secured a knockdown and eight-count in the first minute of the second round. Cue a remarkable response, as Sumner sprang back into life and showed relentless power and determination to turn the contest in his favour and take a split points win.

Halstead’s Louie O’Docherty went up a weight to 63.5kgs, after winning the Eastern Counties Elites at 60kgs last year. He faced a stern challenge from southpaw Ryan Williams (March BC).  Williams’ straight shots took the first, however O’Docherty poured on the pressure with effective shots to head and body in rounds two and three to progress on a unanimous points win.

Former European Schoolboy medallist Joe Kerrison from Lowestoft BC faced a juggernaut in the shape of Halstead’s Charlie Roach at middleweight. With little separating the pair after two rounds, an accidental head clash left Roach with a cut over his eye that terminated the bout early, with Kerrison edging a split points win.

Isaac Lowe from CSM controlled his light-heavyweight final from start to finish against Cambridge University’s James Lee to run out a clear unanimous points winner.


Combined Services championships are staged once again, writes John Dennen

THE first Combined Services championship event since the pandemic was held at RAF Halton on Friday (March 17).

The Army Sport Control Board noted: “Boxing was authorised for resumption in July 2021 but did not gather any real momentum until September. Given a near 18-month cessation of activity many of the stalwarts of the Army and Navy boxing teams had to return to career activities or chose to look to alternative boxing opportunities. As such the Army Boxing Team has a new and fresher look but with much less experience for the coaches to work with, but plenty of talent to develop.”

Due to injuries and availability, entries from the RAF and Royal Navy were limited, meaning there were only six championship bouts, giving the Army five wins by walkover.

In the championship bouts the Army’s Lewis Harvey gave away experience against James Thompson, of the RAF, but landed clean single shots and held his own in their exchanges to win a split decision.

The RAF’s Blaine Lambert was busier and more accurate against Connor Sommerville, beating the new Army boxer on a split decision. Jordan Shaw had to win a semi-final the previous Monday, beating Marine Callum Shaw. In the final he outpointed Taylor Andrews, landing his shots as the RAF boxer pursued him.

Brad Axe won for the RAF, taking a points verdict over the Army’s Leon Harris, who, at 19, has only just moved up to senior boxing.

Emyr Parry defeated another Army boxer, Josh Plummer, to chalk up a victory for the RAF too.

Jack Hindmarch, a Development semi-finalist, moves into the Elites. The soldier took control of his first two rounds with Kyle De Banks. The Navy boxer threw everything he had left at Hindmarch in the last, but could not turn the tables.

Both the Army and the RAF won three bouts each on the night, with the Army winning the Combined Services championships overall.