WARRIOR Warren Baister fought through THREE fights with a bad cut over his eye on his way to claiming national ABA glory at the weekend.
The Sunderland heavyweight suffered injury in the opening minute of his quarter-final bout on Friday in the Elite Men’s national finals.
But he went on to win that fight against Woking’s Danny Williams, the semi-final on Saturday and the final on Sunday.
Now he needs to take five or six weeks off as a wound which required eight stitches heals but the 28-year-old insists it was completely worth it!
“I was a bit surprised that the quarter-final wasn’t stopped straight away but I was over the moon that it wasn’t,” he told the Echo.
“In the amateur competitions a few years ago they would have stopped the contest for that, but they’re letting a lot more things go nowadays and I was really pleased because - apart from the cut - I felt really good, really sharp.”
The last couple of years of Baister’s career have been undermined by injury but the GB boxer went into these finals as number one seed and favourite to claim the title he won back in 2008.
Having received a nasty cut in the opening 60 seconds of Friday’s fight, the six foot four inches Wearsider stuck to his task with a string of quick combinations, while corner man Steve Pattison did tremendous work between the rounds to stem the blood from the cut.
Baister went on to earn a unanimous decision over Williams and got a unanimous decision in the semi-final against the Isle of Man’s Krystian Borucki too.
The small, stocky Borucki used every tactic to open up the cut over the Sunderland ABC boxer’s eye.
But Baister used all his skills to keep his opponent at range and at times unleashed some devastating right-hand, left-hook combinations to earn another victory, despite the cut opening up again.
In the final, he faced number three seed James Branch from Repton - a fighter who has won numerous championships and went into the final having won 22 of his previous 23 bouts.
But Baister showed his class against the slick London southpaw, producing excellent combinations and hurting his opponent in all three rounds..
It was one of the best fights seen on the entire Liverpool Echo Arena bill - both men ending it with blood streaming down from cuts around their eyes.
But it was Baister who got his third unanimous decision of the weekend and the ABA belt.
“The cut’s a bit sore and I got a cut on the top of my head which needed a stitch too but that’s no important - the important thing is winning the title again,” he smiled.
“I’m going to take a bit of time off now but after that it will be a case of looking towards the Commonwealth Games later this year.”
H Baister’s win caps off a great season for Sunderland ABC, which hosts its annual dinner show at the Roker Hotel this Friday, May 2.
Tables are available at £40 a head, which includes a three-course meal and top class boxing involving London’s Repton Boys club.
For more information, contact Dean on 07803159205.