Wearside boxers take gold

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WEARSIDE is celebrating the crowning of four national boxing champions after the finals of the ABA juniors in Batley, West Yorkshire.

Isaac MacLeod, Josh Kelly and twins Pat and Luke McCormack all came away with gold medals, with Bobby Begg unlucky not to win his final too.

The Washington-based McCormacks also saw Birtley ABC stablemates James Ruddick and Callum French come through to take gold medals in what was a great showing by the region’s young boxers on a national stage.

But perhaps the most heart-warming of the victories was 18-year-old Josh Kelly of Houghton ABC who took on the hugely-rated Tom Beaney of West Ham and beat him in each one of their four rounds, triumphing by a wide 37-26 margin.

It was sweet revenge for Kelly who narrowly lost by three points to Beaney in their only previous encounter but he was on top in this encounter from the start, dominating the centre of the ring and prepared to go toe-to-toe whenever the Londoner looked to take him on.

Now Kelly will look forward to the Tri-nations tournament with confidence later in the year and, ultimately, like the rest of Wearside’s champions, set his sights on competing in the next Olympics.

Sunderland ABC’s Isaac MacLeod continued his progress with an ABA title which has become almost routine.

He beat West Ham’s Jordan Reynolds in the final for the second year in a row to claim his fourth consecutive title.

MacLeod’s fellow GB development squad members Pat and Luke McCormack also continued their impressive careers by winning unanimous decisions while Lambton Street ABC boxer Bobby Begg looked slightly out of sorts on his way to defeat in his final bout, never quite reaching the standards of his previous displays.

Pat McCormack beat Londoner Jack Ryan by the comfortable margin of 22-8 while Luke also beat a Londoner, Larry Murphy, 21 points to 6.

The twin’s father Martin said: “I was thrilled with them both, they couldn’t have boxed much better and they looked good from the first minute until the last.”

H Sunderland ABC are holding a boxing show at the Rainton Meadows Arena tomorrow night with all members of the public welcome.

The event is a dinner show with all tables now sold, but there is pay-on-the-door admission with entry £10 and the club hopes the show will attract boxing fan keen to see Sunderland ABC’s best boxers up against the cream of boxers from the ABC’s of Leeds, Repton and Liverpool.

The boxing is due to get under way at 8pm.