The Tyne, Tees and Wear will have 22 boxers on show in Birmingham on Sunday in the Junior ABAE national semi-final.
After an incredible season for everyone involved with the TTW association in all ABA competitions, the juniors look set to cap it off in style with 20 fighting on Sunday for a place in the final and two already guaranteed their place there.
Wellington’s class 6, 86kg boxer Sam Williams was already guaranteed his route to the final and didn’t even have to lace a glove in the quarter finals in Manchester last weekend.
Sunderland ABC’s Jack Storey did though. He beat Toby Senior (Leigh) in a class 5, 85kg contest and with no other Northern competitors left Storey advances to the finals which take place in Mansfield next Saturday and Sunday (25th and 26th).
First though all eyes are on Birmingham on Sunday as 20 other boxers look to join Williams and Storey.
Two of the 20 will be Storey’s Sunderland club mates Isaac Macleod and Kiaran Macdonald.
Isaac is a four-time ABA champion and had a fantastic 2011 when he also won Tri-Nation and European gold and then earned a silver at the worlds.
After winning the class 5 competition last year, weight issues and complications meant that last week’s quarter final was the first time he’d boxed for almost a year.
That didn’t stop the talented Sunderland amateur though as he beat Jack Rafferty (Northside) in the class 6, 67kg quarter final.
He will now look for two more victories to claim his fifth national title and will then be looking forward to bigger and better things. His interesting semi final is against another TTW boxer in Wellington’s Ammir Fiaz.
Macdonald, on the other hand, is entering the juniors for the first time and has done extremely well to reach the semi-final.
I first saw the youngster box at a Sunderland ABC dinner show last year and his talent was clear on that night. He needed to show it again in Manchester last weekend, and did so, defeating Nathan Armstrong (Currock House) in the class 4, 47kg category.
The quarters did see the end of the road come for two other Sunderland ABC boxers though.
Jamie Bambrough was like Macdonald entering his first junior ABA competition. He wasn’t so lucky in the 50kg weight though, losing to Dean Thompson of Roche ABC.
Travis Waters was the other Sunderland boxer to crash out but had improved on last seasons regional semi-final defeat to reach the national quarters this season. He was beaten by Sahir Iqbal (Bury) in the class 5, 60kg weight.
The city of Sunderland have another two semi-finalists to celebrate as both Thomas Scott (Olympian ABC) and Errol Freeman (Lambton Street) both won.
As the Olympian’s only representative, Scott has impressed in the competition and defeated Chris Keeler (Beartown) to advance to the class 4, 70kg semi final.
Freeman boxing in the class 5, 75kg category was victorious over Morgan Jackson (Roche).
Birley ABC had plenty to shout about too. All five of their boxers won in Manchester and advanced. They were David Robson, Isaac Milburn, Callum French, and Pat and Luke McCormack.
The semi-final takes place this Sunday in Birmingham at the Great Barr Leisure Centre, Aldridge Road, B44 8NU. Boxing is due to start at 1:30pm, with two rings in use.
The full line-up is:
Class 4 – boxers born in 1997
46kg Niall Farrell (Kingstanding 2nd City) v Kiaran McDonald (Sunderland)
48kg Nicholas Ball (Kirkby) v Joseph Wilson (Bishop Auckland)
52kg Brandon Daord (Everton Red Triangle) v David Robson (Birtley)
54kg Oliver Cassidy (Tamworth) v Isaac Milburn (Birtley)
60kg Patrick McCann (Kettering School of Boxing) v Anthony Stout (Shildon)
63kg Joseph Jenkins (Hillsborough) v Kasey Robinson (Phil Thomas School of Boxing)
70kg Zac Stabler (Bridlington) v Thomas Scott (Olympian)
80kg Mitchell Redmond (Solihull) v Arman Asad (Natural Progression BA)
Class 5 – boxers born in 1996
54kg Peter McGrail (Everton Red Triangle) v Adam Cope (Gus Robinson’s)
57kg Connor Jones (Lions) v Jamie Thompson (Wellington)
66kg Daniel Breeze (Walsall Wood) v Cory Fenwick (Horden)
70kg Ikram Hussain (St Francis) v Jimmy Tyres (Newbiggin)
75kg James Price (Shrewsbury) v Errol Freeman (Lambton Street)
80kg Ryan Hatton (Tamworth) v Jamal Weaver (Pallister Park)
85kg Jack Storey (Sunderland) through to final
Class 6 – boxers 1995
54kg Mason Lynn (Aston) v Callum French (Birtley)
57kg Jack Wood (Wednesbury) v Luke McCormack (Birtley)
60kg Thomas Aitchinson (Knowsley Vale) v Pat McCormack (Birtley)
67kg Ammir Fiaz (Wellington) v Isaac Macleod (Sunderland)
86kg Samuel Williams (Wellington) Through to finals