Josh Kelly strikes gold

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RISING boxing star Josh Kelly struck gold for Sunderland over the weekend in what was a good showing for Wearside in the ABA Tri-Nations tournament in Liverpool, writes Graeme Anderson.

The 18-year-old from Barnes, who fights for Houghton ABC, saw off the challenge of young Scotland’s James Dickie by 27 points to five in the semi-final before overcoming Welshman Jordan Fisher 27-12 in the final.

Kelly had given an excellent performance against Dickie in the semis and that might have taken something out of him because the first round of the final ended with the Sunderland boxer having only a narrow 7-5 lead but in the next two rounds he clicked into gear to run out a comfortable winner.

There was a gold too for Washington’s Luke McCormack – one half of the Pat and Luke boxing twins – who came out on top against Londoner Jak Day.

Their contest proved to be a much closer encounter than the one Kelly enjoyed but McCormack, who fights out of Birtley ABC, still emerged as victor, triumphing by 12 points to eight.

As well as the two golds, there were two silvers for Wearside too.

Sunderland ABC’s Isaac MacLeod went down to a narrow defeat to Kettering’s Charlie Lee, losing by nine points to eight, while Lambton Street’s Curtis Todd lost 23-9 in the final to Yorkshireman Ashley Shaw.

Seventeen-year-old Todd from Pallion recently lost to Shaw in the semi-finals of the national ABA’s but the weekend’s contest was a more impressive display.

Lambton Street coach Tony Austin said: “It was a good experience for Curtis who is just starting off and hasn’t had many bouts so far in his career.”