O'Driscoll adds to West Ham haul
PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 March 2015
Cadet joins list of national champions
West Ham Cadet boxer Tony O’Driscoll became the latest in the long line of national champions at the Plaistow club as he clinched the National under-57kg title at Sheffield on Sunday.
O’Driscoll continued his own tradition of upsetting highly-rated rivals with a points success over Shildon’s James McMeekin, a Great Britain representative at the European schools championship last summer.
The talented pair produced a high standard final, with the Shildon boxer piling on the pressure, but O’Driscoll fired back effectively as a split verdict and the 57kg title went his way.
The West Ham hope faced a stiff semi-final test a day earlier at the Ponds Forge Arena, with a bout against another national champion in Stoke entry Greg Lunt.
The Midlander was taken out of his stride as the Hammer found the target with accurate attacks, piling up the points in every round as all three ringside judges voted for O’Driscoll.
However for two other local hopes Aaron Lawrence and Jimmy Sains the semi-finals at Sheffield proved the end of the title trail.
Fairbairn boxer Lawrence lost his 42kg duel against Northants rival Ethan James (Kings Heath), who captured a national schools title last year and followed up by winning the Cadet title on Sunday.
Newham BC’s Jimmy Sains also went out to a talented rival when he dropped a points decision against Hull’s Nyall Jackson (Vulcan BC) in the 44kg group.
*It’s a big night for Ovill McKenzie and Tom Baker as they face title fight action on the Frank Warren card at York Hall on Friday.
Peacock gym-based McKenzie defends his British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles against northerner Matty Askin in the delayed showdown.
And unbeaten West Hammer Baker, trained by Mark Tibbs, meets Kevin Greenwood for the vacant Southern Area super-middleweight belt confident of claiming his first pro title.
Miles Shinkwin defends the Area light-heavyweight title against Richard Horton on a bright bill that also features Mitchell Smith, Gary Corcoran and Romeo Romaeo.
*Peacock gym-based Ryan Taylor hammered a fourth-round win over previously unbeaten Norwich fighter Danny Gunn to take the British Masters light-welterweight title at York Hall on Saturday.
An army of local boxing fans will roar on Kevin Mitchell when he he gets home advantage as he challenges Venezuela’s Jorge Linares for the WBC lightweight crown at The O2 Arena on May 30.
Mitchell takes on three-weight world champion Linares on the same show that sees Welsh stylist Lee Selby tackle IBF world featherweight king Evgeny Gradovich on one of London’s biggest nights of the year.
With heavyweight hero Anthony Joshua MBE taking on Kevin Johnson, promoter Eddie Hearn boasts a bumper bill but even the challenger has been shocked by the early ticket requests for the show.
“When I challenged Michael Katsidis for the interim world title at West Ham five years ago there was a heavy demand for tickets,” said the 30-year-old Mitchell.
“But it’s even bigger this time for the O2 show. It’s great to see the fans are getting behind me already and with their support I am even more confident I can take that world title.”
Mitchell is well pleased that Matchroom boss Hearn won the purse bids to stage the fight and he gets his big chance at a familiar venue where he has fought regularly in the past.
Hearn said: “I’m delighted to deliver Kevin’s shot in the UK and he has have every chance of becoming world champion on May 30.”
Mitchell will be joined on the show by another former West Ham amateur - Lucien Reid – who also enjoyed amateur success and claimed an ABA Elite title in club colours.
The 21-year-old Reid has signed with the Matchroom boxing team and will make his paid debut at super-bantamweight on the night.
He has joined the pro stable of Peter Sims based at Hainault, where he trains alongside Wadi Camacho and Ben Hall.