Title delight as Joel seals fifth championship

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SUNDERLAND ABC’s Joel Hassan put on a fine display to win his fifth North East, Tyne Tees and Wear title in the Junior ABA Championships at Birtley.

The 15-year-old St Aidan’s schoolboy took on Steven Hilton of Spennymoor.

Hilton, a strong two-fisted fighter, came forward throughout, but Hassan’s skills kept the Spennymoor boy off balance.

He used his jab well, peppering Hilton and following up with some fast hand combinations to win a unanimous decision.

He now goes into the pre-quarter-finals on Saturday at Birtley where he takes on reigning ABA champion Benjamin Vaughn (Kings Heath).

Sunderland’s John Purdy (57kg) went into the cadet championships, also held at Birtley, and in the semi-finals took on Harry Condren (Aycliffe).

Purdy kept up the pressure throughout, catching Condren with straight shots throughout.

Condren rallied to get back into the contest and took a split decision win against the unlucky Purdy.

Sunderland’s Jimmy Hall (66kg) also went into the cadet championships and in the final took on Middelsbrough’s Morgan Guest.

In a hard-fought contest, both boys gave their all with Guest taking the unanimous decision of the judges.