Luke leaves it late but makes the title his after a tough test
PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2012
West Ham’s classy Luke Saunders clinched the GB Three Nations Youth championship at Liverpool on Saturday with a dramatic final-round onslaught against Newbiggin BC rival Conor Loftus.
Strong favourite Saunders was put to the test against his Yorkshire rival, who he had previously beaten, but was taken out of his stride in the early exchanges as Loftus poured on the punches.
The West Hammer faced the final round trailing by two points on the official scorecard, but produced his most effective attacks of the clash shaking the Bradford boxer with accurate punches.
Saunders last-round burst produced a six-point margin in his favour to sway verdict by a 28-24 margin and add another title to his impressive collection.
Saunders, hailed as one of the outstanding boxers at the Great Britain championships, earlier clinched his semi-final success when he defeated Scotland choice Jim Smith, stepping up the pace in the third round to halt his rival.
Meanwhile two other West Ham entries at the Liverpool tournament, Jordan Reynolds and Khaliq Miah, were eliminated by top-quality rivals.
Reynolds suffered a points defeat against Welsh star Aled Cook, while Scotland’s multi-titled Scott Quigley eliminated Miah after a keenly-fought clash.
■ Newham’s amateur boxers are looking forward to ending the season on a high note when they compete in the four-day Haringey Police-sponsored Box-Cup tournament – starting today (Thursday) at Alexandra Palace.
The tournament, in its fifth year, is a fast growing event which attracts boxers from the leading London clubs, alongside top amateurs from all over Great Britain and Ireland, plus entries from several continental countries.
West Ham and Peacock club boxers enter the four-day event, which involves hundreds of bouts at the massive main hall at the north London venue, with boxing taking place in three rings, and includes a junior competion on Friday.
The Hammers squad named for the tournament is: Charlie Driscoll, Jimmy Smith, Liam Desmond, Tejan Massally, Ronnie Nakeuze, Mitchell Frearson, Michael Amoo and Davis Pagan.