IT’S that time once again. The Haringey Box Cup, one of the unmissable events in the domestic calendar, takes place at Alexandra Palace in London. Five rings will be in operation simultaneously at the Great Hall with 500 boxers, at all levels, expected to take part. The quarter-finals start on Friday (June 14), at 4pm, the semi-finals  take place Saturday (June 15), at 12pm, with the finals on Sunday (June 16), boxing also starts at 12pm. Tickets available on the door.

Champions to look out for are Islington’s Masood Abdullah and Jem Campbell who won national titles this year, impressive Triumph light-heavyweight Aaron Bowen and Repton’s Adnan Mohammed who has won multiple Youth titles. There will also be boxers from Ireland and teams from Canada and the USA.

Haringey boxing club runs the mammoth event itself and also this year has a sizeable squad going in, featuring new national champions Oriance Lungu and Amy Andrew among others. “I’m really excited. It’s my favourite tournament so I can’t wait and Haringey have got a really big team this year. It’s going to be good. Lots of people are coming from different countries, lots of people to box I haven’t boxed before,” Andrew told Boxing News. “This is my fourth and I’ve won all the other times. I really enjoy it.

“It’s tough but there are all these different rings going, there’s lots of different people there.”

She insists the Haringey side aren’t feeling the pressure, even if they are the host club. “I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot of excitement in the gym at the moment. Everyone’s really looking forward to it. We’re all really proud to represent Haringey at the Box Cup because obviously it’s the Haringey Box Cup. There’s no pressure [but] everyone wants to win it. Everyone’s in the gym, lots of rounds, everyone’s excited about it. We’ve got a really big team this year. So that’s nice and it feels like a team,
that we’re going and representing,” Andrew said.

“There’s loads of people down every training session, there’s lots of different sparring, people coming all the time,” she added. “The coaches are amazing, they give up loads of their time. It’s a fun vibe but the sparring’s really good, the coaches are really good. It’s been a really good season.”

Andrew does relish the prestige of the event. “It’s really fun to see all these big names that took part [in the past]. People remember when Katie Taylor did it, it’s one of those ones that all the big names have taken part in and it feels like an important tournament,” she said. “So that’s pretty cool.”

She has met good opponents herself, beating Shannon Courtenay, now a professional boxing on Sky Sports, two years ago. “I boxed Shannon Courtenay the year before [last]. Good for her she’s doing amazing things [as a pro]. Anyone who can get opportunities like that, you’ve got to look up to them because that’s brilliant. Style wise pro is different from amateur anyway, she really suits the pro style, it’s working out for her so that’s really good,” Andrew said.

But she noted, “I love amateur. I’m not really that interested in turning pro because I feel like there’s still a lot for me to learn in amateur. I haven’t reached the top. For me women’s boxing at the moment in amateur is a lot tougher, there’s a lot more opponents. The standard’s really high. There’s always lots of people to fight. So for me I want to become a better boxer so amateur boxing is where my focus is.”

While a Box Cup veteran, earlier this year Andrew won her first national title. She’s coming into this event as the Elite champion. “I’ll just try my best. I’m not going to put the pressure on myself to feel like oh I’m the national champion, I’ve got to win. You win some, you lose some but obviously I’m going to try my best,” Andrew said.

Andrew, who has also started to represent New Zealand, will use the Box Cup to replicate the structure of an international competition. “A three day tournament is always a learning experience definitely,” she said. “In my group, there’s [boxers from] Sweden, Ireland, France.”

Victory could set Andrew up for boxing overseas later on this year. “I’m going to Thailand in July to box for [New Zealand] there. Going to Brazil for our camp. I don’t know what else is coming up but then we’ve got the World [championships]. I’ll have to be a bit sensible about how I manage the travel because I was a bit [poor last time out and need to] just focus a bit more on training rather than on fighting as much,” she says.

But the Haringey Box Cup is a major event for anyone who takes part. “It feels really special. The fact that it’s at Ally Pally, there are so many rings and so many people from all different places,” Andrew points out. “It feels like a special event. I’ve only ever gone there and really enjoyed it. There’s obviously the pressures and stuff.

“Everyone really looks forward to it. Obviously the ABAs is the ABAs. But people, if you tell them you’re a Haringey Box Cup winner, that means something. So it’s got a lot of gravitas as a tournament especially in England.”

Mission 2019 – Shona Whitwell

From England

Stance Southpaw

Titles England Boxing Elite

THE English lightweight is working her way back into contention. She was a surprise winner of the national Elite championships back in 2017. Having overcome injury she has been taking part in big competitions once again. She boxed in the Women’s Winter Box Cup in December and recently has been with the international GB squad on a training camp in Germany.

She will be one of the boxers to watch at this year’s Haringey Box Cup. “Quality training camp finished out here with the team. Getting the rounds in this week with Germany and Poland, finishing off with a gym bout today against Thailand,” she stated.

“Preparation complete for [this] week’s Haringey Box Cup.”

There is plenty of competition around her division, with England’s Paige Murney notably winning a Commonwealth silver medal in 2018. Whitwell will want to start making an impression with tournament victories.