Hammers’ young boxers are simply four-some
PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 March 2012
West Ham’s super schoolboy squad passed their latest tests in style in the National finals at Mansfield on Sunday with a four out of four success – Sidney Driscoll, Joe Temple, Jake Spooner and Charlie Kenny all bringing home national awards.
It was ‘KO’ Kenny who played his part as the Hammers’ record-breaking six victories in the finals a year ago and completed the latest clean sweep, beating Sheffield star Dalton Smith in a meeting of two outstanding double National champions.
Driscoll was first of the quartet to box, facing a much taller Akash Tukir of Wellington ABC and, having eliminated a reigning National champion earlier in his campaign, showed the same determination to take control from the start.
Classy Driscoll forced his Class Two 34kg opponent to retreat under a barrage of two-fisted attacks to build a clear points advantage.
Tukir wilted under the barrage and was twice warned by the referee for ducking too low, as the Hammer maintained the pressure to clinch a clear 14-6 points victory.
Spooner put his undefeated record at stake against Hall Green rival Ammar Khan in his Class Three 40kg final, and came through a winner in only his 11th contest against a far more experienced rival.
Their final meeting proved a clash of styles with both boys trying to force the pace in an effort to claim their first National title.
However, there was no doubt that most of the cleaner punches came from the Hammer, who scored well with accurate straight rights on his way to a 14-9 victory.
Revenge was sweet for Joe Temple as he avenged an earlier defeat against Everton Red Triangle’s Harvey Lambert in their Class Three 42kg decider.
Their clash proved an intriguing cat and mouse duel as they waited for each other to lead, and the northern hope was two points ahead going into the final round.
It was in those final two minutes that Temple turned on the pressure, throwing the decisive punches as his rival was forced to hang on for survival and was deducted two points for holding as the West Hammer completed his 22-19 points victory to take his second National title.
After three wins out of three the pressure was on Kenny, a quiet youngster who lets his fists do the talking.
He had stopped his previous nine opponents in a row, but his meeting with star northerner Smith (Steel City) was the most eagerly awaited clash of the championships.
Smith had clearly done his homework and kept moving around the ring trying to evade Kenny’s power punches, but the Hammer stalked him, cutting down the ring and fired well-timed attacks to take a 13-11 victory and the Class Three 52kg title.
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