Reece on song for semi slot

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SUNDERLAND boxer Reece Amir will compete in the semi-finals of the Junior ABA Championships this weekend after winning impressively in the quarter-finals.

The 13-year-old from Sunderland ABC is competing in the 66kg Class 2 category and had a walk-over to the last eight because there were not even opponents in his weight and class.

But he showed his quality in an impressive display against Stoke boxer Bilal Ahmed (Meir ABC), dominating from the opening bell at the Everton Park Sports Centre on Merseyside.

Reece, a Northern Area champion, made powerful right swings count throughout a bout he completely bossed from start to finish, winning on the scorecards of all five judges.

He now goes into the national semi-finals at the Havercroft Sports Centre in Wakefield this Sunday.

Fellow Sunderland ABC boxer and Northern Area champion Joel Hassan (46kg Class 2) will not be following him there, though, having been unable to get past past highly-rated Kings Heath boxer Benjamin Vaughan on the same bill.

It was one challenge too many for Hassan, also 13, who had overcome last year’s ABA winner Patrick Birkenhead in his previous fight.

This time, he was up against a national champion and British Tri-Nations gold medallist but still gave a good account of himself.

He showed no respect to Vaughan from the opening bell and was on top in the first round before going toe-to-toe in the second. Leading going into the third, he came under a flurry of powerful blows from Vaughan before fighting back in the dying stages.

But that late and impressive surge was just enough to give the Birmingham fighter victory by a majority decision over Hassan, three judges to two.

H Sunderland ABC will be hosting the Senior ABA North East Championships at Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton on successive Fridays, March 1 and 8.

Tickets on the door will cost £15 (adult) and £5 (children) to watch the region’s top amateurs in action.

For more information, contact the Arena on 0191 584 8630.