THE finals of the England Boxing Elite Championships took place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Sunday afternoon (April 26) and for the first time the women’s event was combined with the men’s.

Opening proceedings was the light-fly final, which saw Sunny Edwards move and counter well to upset number one seed Joe Maphosa on a unanimous decision. At flyweight Muhammed Ali was simply too strong for local southpaw Blane Hyland, who took a lot of punishment over the last two rounds but hung in there to lose unanimously.

A very close all-southpaw 56 kgs final went the way of Callum French, via unanimous decision over local Peter McGrail. French lost the first round but after a close second finished strongly to take the last and with it the title.

Birtley won the next two finals too, through the McCormack twins. Luke produced what few clean punches there were to beat Jack Wood in a scrappy lightweight bout before light-welter Pat outboxed southpaw Alfie Price in a battle of wits.

A cracking welterweight decider saw reigning champion Conor Loftus retain by outpunching fellow-southpaw Cyrus Pattinson, who thus became Birtley’s only loser (from four) on the day. Equally gruelling was the middleweight war that saw Troy Williamson rally to outpunch Jack Flatley via unanimous verdict.

Light-heavyweight was scrappy with Joshua Buatsi sticking to his task well enough to outpoint awkward Ashley Vanzie. Meanwhile, Ricardo Slue scored with plenty of right crosses to defeat Michael McKay at heavyweight.

Super-heavyweight saw big Frazer Clarke finally win his first national title, although his points win over Natty Ngwenya was marred by too much holding from the soldier for it to be long remembered.

MALE: 49: Sunny Edwards (Steel City/3) outpd Joe Maphosa (Middlesbrough/1) unan. 52: Mohammed Ali (Bury/1) outpd Blane Hyland (Salisbury/2) unan. 56: Callum French (Birtley/3) outpd Peter McGrail (Everton Red Triangle/1) unan. 60: Luke McCormack (Birtley/1) outpd Jack Wood (Wednesbury) unan. 64: Pat McCormack (Birtley/1) outpd Alfie Price (Hoddesdon/2) unan. 69: Conor Loftus (Burmantofts/2) outpd Cyrus Pattinson (Birtley) unan. 75: Troy Williamson (Darlington/1) outpd Jack Flatley (Halliwell) unan. 81: Joshua Buatsi (South Norwood & Victory/1) outpd Ashley Vanzie (Platinum/3) unan. 91: Ricardo Slue Fitzroy Lodge) outpd Michael McKay (Hook & Jab) unan. 91&: Frazer Clarke (Burton/1) outpd Natty Ngwenya (Army) unan.

FEMALE: 48: Tanya Dady (Earlsfield) outpd Demi-Jade Retzen (New Astley) split. 51: Lisa Whiteside (Larches & Savick) outpd Kim Shannon (2nd City) unan. 54: Rachael Bowers (Fitzroy Lodge) stpd Jenna O’Reilly (Lynn) 4th. 57: Sarah Dunne (Bury) outpd Raven Chapman (Arena) unan. 60: Chantelle Cameron (Far Cotton/1) outpd Sophie Colebourne (North Mersey) unan. 64: Cherrelle Brown (Islington/1) outpd Oriance Lungu (Haringey Police Community/2) unan. 69: Stacey Copeland (Bredbury & Stockport/1) outpd Stephanie Rowe (Army) split. 75: Natasha Gale (Jubilee) outpd Alex Turbitt (Army) unan.