Six out of nine ain’t bad! Okay, not quite the correct Meatloaf lyric but one nonetheless that the Tyne, Tees and Wear can be singing this week after another successful weekend in the Elite ABA pre-quarter finals.
On Saturday night, the Rainton Meadows Arena hosted the pre-quarter final national contested against boxers from Merseyside and Chesire and six of our region’s finest progressed.
One of the six is Houghton’s Josh Kelly who is enjoying a remarkable season. Despite his recent international success Kelly came in to his first Senior ABA championship knowing that repeating his fête of winning last year at junior was going to be a lot more difficult at senior.
Still, Josh had said at the start of the competition that he wanted to get past the regional stage, which he did last Friday in style against Tab Simamane.
Then on Saturday Kelly put in another quality performance to surpass even his own expectations and reach the quarter finals nationally.
The 63.5kg boxer defeated Everton Red Triangle’s Ryan Mulcahy with one of only three unanimous decisions all day.
51kg Joe Maphosa (Middlesbrough) also picked up a unanimous decision over Tuebrook’s Dean Murphy.
The Middlesbrough boxer, who was a beaten national finalist last year, was competing for the first time in this season’s event after walking over from the regional stage.
That lack of competition didn’t affect him though as he got one step closer to reaching another national final.
The other unanimous victory went the way of Tom Simpson (Knowsley Vale) who was a shock victor over one of TTW’s national finalists last year in Lewis Ritson (Forest Hall). Simpson advances to the 67kg national quarter final as a result.
Another of the region’s finalists last year is also out. Wellington’s Peter Martin lost a very tight contest by a majority decision to Adam Farrell (Salisbury). Farrell advances in the 75kg competition.
Martin’s two Wellington teammates are both safely through though.
Firstly, Josh Leather advanced at 60kg against Chris McCormick (Higherside). He is now on his way to defending his crown after last year becoming the only TTW national champion.
Louis Cunningham followed that up with another tight win over Lloyd Campbell (Knowsley Vale) in the 71kg contest. He too is now on his way to reaching the finals like last year, although he wasn’t victorious that time around.
At 57kg Hartlepool Headland’s Michael Hatfield progressed after beating Ryan Moorhead (Gemini). That was his first contest after walking over through the regional stages.
That was also the case for 86kg Michael Watson (Tootill) who walked over to this stage to defeat Shaun Hughes (Kirkby) and progress.
At 54kg Aaron Hubery (Shildon) had really impressed in the regional final but his place in the competition ended after he lost to Alex Foulkes (Wirral Community).
In total eight TTW boxers have reached the quarter finals after 81kg Dean Laing (Birtley) and 91kg Declan Fusco (South Durham) both walked over.
We will bring you news of the date and the opponents in the quarter finals as soon as we have them.