Five of Newark’s young boxers were back in the ring last weekend competing in the prestigious MTK Global Lonsdale Box Cup 2021, an event which brought together boxers from all of the top clubs in England, Scotland and Wales and resulted in four Gold Medals and four new champions for Newark Amateur Boxing Club.

Representing NABC in Penrith on Friday 22, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 October were 12-year old Joel Cook fighting at 34k, 12-year-old James Jordan competing in the 42-44kg category, 15-year old Sam Hardy competing at -59kg, Alfie Briggs-Price, also 15 years old, boxing in the 60-63kg category and 26-year old Mikey Lindsey fighting at Super Heavyweight.

Getting things off to a flying start, James Jordan was first out of the blocks, giving his opponent Owen Murray from Grainger Park two counts the in first round which saw the referee stopping the contest and James going through to the final against Billy Reed from the much-fancied Rainham ABC.

Dominating his more experienced opponent, James was fast and furious throughout the bout, giving Billy no space to work, and a unanimous points win saw him secure Newark’s first Gold Medal of the weekend.

Next up it was the turn of Joel Cook, taking on Farhan Muhammad Ali from O’Dell’s Boxing Academy. Every bit as fast and furious as James before him, Joel went about changing levels with his attacks and giving his opponent a count in round two before going on to secure another unanimous win for Newark.

Up against unbeaten Scottish Champion Adam Gallagher from Antonine Boxing Club in the final, Joel was unfazed as he and his opponent went to work exchanging big punches for such tiny boxers. The speed and ferocity of this bout had everyone present on their feet and, at end of three rounds, Joel added a second Gold Medal to his club’s collection.

There was  yet more success for NABC when Sam Hardy, already a two-time National Champion, went head to head with Hod Box’s Tom Cotterhill. Rounds one and two saw Sam boxing beautifully, not getting hit at all by his aggressive opponent, and although Sam tired a little in the third which resulted in some success for Tom, the Newark boxer refused to be derailed and a unanimous decision in his favour saw him through to the final.

Up against tricky southpaw Medi Sahak, another National Champion from the famous Repton Boys Boxing Club, Sam followed instructions perfectly throughout the bout. Despite Medi’s confidence, Sam dominated with his two and three phase attacks, drawing Medi counter and going to work with some fast combos.

After  the second round saw Medi being given an official warning for holding as Sam was landing some hurtful shots, in the third Sam caught him with a great right hand which sent him reeling and left the referee with no option but to give him a count.

This was the icing on the cake for Sam who, making it look easy at times against a boxer from such an established club with a great record of 13 wins and two losses, was declared the winner and made it three Gold Medals out of three for the team from Suggy’s Gym.

Following in his footsteps, it was Alfie Briggs-Price’s turn to fly the flag for NABC in his semi-final against MTK’s Alfie Tuffrey, the local favourite with another good record of 14 wins and three losses.

Using his speed and timing to frustrate his opponent, Alfie won the first round before getting caught a bit in the second with some fast counters, leaving things set up for great final round which saw the Newark boxer making adjustments and landing a massive right hand which felled his opponent.

As Alfie was declared winner by a split decision at the end of the fight, everyone was buzzing for him and for the upcoming final which saw him up against Bracebridge ABC’s Travis Dunning.

Although both boxers knew each other well and it was great to see two local lads going head to head for the title, it was Alfie who settled better as he utilised his reach to take all three rounds and a unanimous decision, making it four out of four Gold Medals for Newark Amateur Boxing Club.

“What an absolutely amazing weekend of boxing,” said Dean Sugden, head coach of Suggy’s Gym, the home of Newark Amateur Boxing Club. “The standard was exceptional with all the top clubs in attendance and winning four Gold Medals was an outstanding achievement both for the boxers themselves and for the club.

“Our fifth boxer on the event, Mikey Lyndsey, was really unlucky in his semi-final against last year’s winner, Ike Ogbo from Border City who later went on to win again this year. It was a close-fought contest which we all thought Mikey had won – at the end of the second round, both corners told their respective boxers to go out and win the last one and after the final bell even the Border City head coach shared our opinion that Mikey had done enough to do just that.

“Sadly the judges didn’t agree so Newark ABC had to settle for four Gold Medals out of five, which is an incredible achievement for our club. We’re going from strength to strength in terms of members and boxers at 49 Castlegate; there’s absolutely no doubt that success breeds success and I’m really grateful for all the hard work the team there puts in to support our young amateurs.

“Now all eyes will be on Sam again next weekend when he heads over to Hereford determined to add a third National Title to his record.”

In the corner for all five of the weekend’s fights was Suggy’s Gym pro boxer Chad Sugden, who has been coaching and mentoring the boxers to victory and said about the weekend : “I honestly can’t remember the last time the club performed so well and put in this much effort.

“The lads had to perform out of their skins to win those Gold Medals but they’ve all trained hard and improved so much, which certainly showed in the results, and I’ve absolutely no doubt that the future’s looking really good.”

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