Plymouth boxers reach quarter-final stage of senior ABAs
PLYMOUTH boxers Jack Bellingham and Chris Adaway both captured Western Counties titles on their way through to the next stage of this season's Elite Senior ABAs.
Pilgrims ABC's Bellingham and Adaway, of Mayflower ABC, secured clear points victories at the regional finals, staged at Bristol's Filton College on Sunday.
Bellingham and Adaway now travel to Bracknell for Saturday's pre quarter-finals of the elite boxing tournament.
But there was disappointment and no little surprise for Mayflower and their boxing brothers Howard and Ryan Hart, both of whom were out-pointed from the national tournament.
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But for Bellingham, outscoring Amalgam's James Woolnough gives the Plymothian the opportunity of landing his second title of the season.
The 22-year-old light-middleweight, secured the Pilgrims first national title of the season in winning the ABA Senior Novice championship back in December.
And for Mayflower featherweight Adaway similarly scoring an emphatic win over Downend's Jamol Cabilogan means he, too, has a place this weekend's round – just four fights from the finals.
Pilgrims' head coach Glyn Mitchell said winning a Western Counties title was a fine achievement and augurs well for Bellingham's future prospects.
"Jack boxed intelligently and tidily against Woolnough who has an awkward and possibly effective style against a lesser operator," said Mitchell.
"The unanimous decision from the judges means Jack won every round, which is how I scored it, although the other lad seemed to think he was the winner.
"Woolnough tries to burrow into his opponent and work inside, but our tactics were to pop and move and score from outside which worked a treat.
"Both boys were fit, although Woolnough was blowing a bit at the end, through the exertions of trying to nail Jack."
Bellingham was Woolnough's second opponent of the day. He had earlier defeated Dan Sarkozi, of Bristol club, Empire ABC, on points in a qualifier for the Western Counties final.
Adaway, who turns 20 years old in August, will deservedly take great confidence after seeing off Cabilogan on points.
The Mayflower star was seldom troubled throughout the three rounds, but is scheduled to face a tricky challenge in the shape of reigning 54kgs category champion Reece Balloti at the weekend.
Balloti has opted to up his weight to the 57kgs-plus category and although the more experienced, will not relish facing an accomplished opponent in Adaway.
Mayflower coach Steve Clarke was rightly proud for Adaway, but naturally sharing the disappointment of the Hart brothers.
Clarke said: "It's great for Chris and for the club to win a Western Counties title and to be in with a chance of progressing in the senior ABAs.
"Chris boxed well and within himself against Cabilogan who like all the other boxers in the competition, particularly at the next level, will be of a very high standard.
"But for Ryan and Howard, it's very disappointing for them both as everyone at the club felt they would get through.
"Neither boxed at the level they can on Saturday, but that's how it goes, it's what you do on the night that counts and they're good lads and will bounce back."
Lightweight Ryan, 22, was outpointed by NSC's Tyler Davies, while light welterweight Howard, one year younger than his brother, lost out on points to Kane Stewart of Bristol's Paddy John's club.