The 5th Annual Haringey Box Cup held at the Alexandra Palace had its normal thrills and spills, plus some cracking contests. This year saw seven Islington boxers entered in the tournament and walk off with two gold medals for James Woodward (Class C under 64 kgs) & Stephanie Louis-Fernand (Female Class C under 67kgs), along wit two silver medals. Extra spice was added this year as the Class C finals (plus a few others) were screened live on the Box Nation channel.
In a Class C semi-final, James Woodward boxed a controlled fight to see off Southampton’s Lee Cutter in the semi final. Woodward, controlled the pace in the opener, before stepping up a gear in the second. A wicked body punch from Woodward had Cutter down, only for the punch to be ruled a low blow. But is wasn’t long before Cutter tasted the canvas again, this time from a five punch combination from Woodward. Up at four and on unsteady legs, Woodward sensed victory and another classy volley of punches from Woodward had Cutter down again. This time the referee had seen enough.
In the final, Woodward was up against Hove ABC’s experienced Dave Murphy, and what a cracking contest it was. Woodward shaded the opening round, using his jab to good effect and mixing his shots well. Murphy applied considerable pressure in the second, catching Woodward with right hands as he moved backwards. The last session was pretty much toe to toe stuff, with Woodward shading it by virtue of landing the cleaner punches. The verdict was a deserved majority to Woodward, giving the Islington boxer his second Haringey gold medal in three years.
Islington’s Female Stephanie Louis-Fernand also took gold (Class C under 67kgs), when she gained revenge over Gator’s previously unbeaten Hazel Gale, in what was a repeat of last year’s final at the same weight. Louis-Fernand, ahead after the opening two sessions, scored well with her long right cross and uppercut every time Gale came close. Gale took the third, as she finally managed to push Louis-Fernand back towards the ropes. The final session was frenetic with both boxers trading punches, but it was Louis-Fernand who held firm to take a majority point decision to claim her 2nd Haringey Box Cup Gold medal.
Louis-Fernand had booked her place in the final against Gale, by defeating Sweatbox’s Lucia Gaetani in the semi-final. The pair had met only two weeks ago in Bristol, and the result was again an unanimous decision to Louis-Fernand, albeit this time a closer encounter than the previous one.Gaetani, aggressive throughout, tried to keep it close, but Louis-Fernand had just a little too much variety in her work and took the verdict after four hard fought rounds.
Islington’s Class A under 75kgs favourite, Andre Bowen, dropped a surprise unanimous points decision against Times ABC’s Julies Amoah in the semi final. Bowen, lost his cool time and again against the elusive Amoah, who seemed content to back peddle and hope to land the occasional punch. It did the trick however, as Bowen became increasingly wild and frustrated as the bout wore on.Two days prior in the quarter final, Bowen had scored a spectacular knockout over Studio’s Anthony Rogan. It took Bowen less than 60 seconds to find his range and land with a vicious right hand. Rogan was out cold as soon as the punch landed.
Islington’s promising Class A under 57 kgs boxer, Troy Smart, reached the final ,where he was outweighed by 5kgs, and that in the end proved too much, as he was stopped by body punches in the final round, courtesy of Fisher’s Jevin Taylor. Taylor took the action to Smart right from the off. Although Smart landed some good counters in the second, eventually being worn down by Taylor’s persistent aggression. A series of body punches made Smart double over, before the same fate befell him after the initial standing count. Before the referee could complete the count, the towel came in from the corner.Smart, had booked his place in the final the day before, after outclassing Lansbury’s Patrick Bojenga. Stocky Bojenga, simply had no answer to Smart’s snappy counter punching and hard right hand, succumbing to a wide unanimous decision.
Two time female Haringey Box cup gold medalist at under 67kgs, Sara Knieper, narrowly failed to make it a hat-trick, as she went down to an unanimous decision to Norways’ Kristin Tviet, this time at under 64kgs. The points scoring looked surprisingly wide for a bout that could have gone either way. Tviet applied more pressure, but Knieper’s work looked more accurate, as she tried to box off the back foot. Tviet scored well just before the end of the bout and that looked to have secured the result .Knieper, 33 years old, announced her retirement from boxing immediately after the contest.
Scott Smart, Class A under 54 kgs, had to be retired in the second round of his semi final contest against Fisher’s Bill Goodhall, after damaging his bicep muscle. Goodhall, was marginally ahead at the time of the finish, mainly due to southpaw Smart not being able to throw the injured right hand jab.
Islington’s England Rep, Darren Ballinger found himself on the wrong end of a controversial decision in a Class C under 60kgs semi-final, against Jake Trowse (Hastings Westhill). Ballinger looked in control in round one, landing with the jab and straight right hands to head and body. Trowse made an argument of it in the second, tying Ballinger up and working inside. However it was Ballinger who looked to have finished the stronger of the two.It came as somewhat of a surprise when the verdict was read out and Trowse got the nod by majority decision.
Reports by Bevis Allen