Olympic boxing hopefuls secured a place in the national finals this past weekend.
England Boxing’s National Amateur Championships will conclude in a gripping finale this Saturday in Manchester Central.
Masood Abdullah of Islington, George Crotty of the Royal Navy and Kirsty Hill were all victorious in the semi-finals, earning a trip to Manchester for the grand finals.
Kirsty Hill vs Hannah Robinson was arguably the fight of the night. The under 60kg women’s bout was closely contested and competitive, leaving the judges split.
However, Kirsty Hill was victorious, pulling-off the upset over Robinson who is number one seed in Britain.
Hill said: “I’m absolutely delighted, as I’ve never made it this far in a nationals before.
“I said beforehand that whatever the result I was going to leave everything in there and just really work for it.”
It was a successful day for those representing the forces. Tori Ellis-Willets, female under 51kg, was boxing for the army and secured a unanimous decision against Nicola Hopewell.
Natty Ngwenya also took a unanimous decision against Ben Vickers for the army. The Royal Navy picked up a win in the men’s under 81kg division with George Crotty beating Carnell Browne of the army.
As could be expected, it was a hotly contested bout. George Crotty said: “Yesterday I boxed someone they called ‘The Terminator’, who just keeps coming forward and I knew that would give me a good workout.”
He said: “There’s always a bit of rivalry between the armed forces teams – it’s a bit like a local derby. I won this title in 2017 and lost it last year after a bad performance, so I want to win it back and show why I am the number one seed.”
England Boxing’s national final is set to be streamed by the BBC with commentary by Richie Woodall.