West Ham boxers book final spots

PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 December 2016

West Ham's Tony O'Brien and Patrick Connors celebrate their success

West Ham's Tony O'Brien and Patrick Connors celebrate their success


Hat-trick of wins and a walkover for hopefuls

West Ham's Michael Cash celebrates his successWest Ham's Michael Cash celebrates his success

West Ham BC celebrated a hat-trick of wins as Patrick Connors, Tony O’Brien and Michael Cash swept through the NABGC semi-finals in impressive style at Harlow on Sunday.

And the trio join the club’s heavyweight hope Viddal Riley in the finals, which will be decided at various evnues this weekend, after he received a bye.

But the talented Riley, a multi-titled junior who returned to action after a break from boxing, will be tested by Tamworth’s England choice Ryan Hatton in the Class D 9lkg final at Wycombe tonight (Wednesday).

Connors launched his bid in the Class A 63kg semi-final in style when he forced Joel Garrett, from Glastonbury’s Avalon BC, to take a count in the opening round.

The Hammer maintained the pressure on his rival and took the verdict to go through on a unanimous vote.

Clubmate O’Brien battled with Welsh boxer Callum Piper (Cwmavon Hornets BC) for a place in the 66kg final.

And O’Brien continued to show the impressive form he has displayed along the title trail as he boxed his way to a unanimous verdict against a game opponent.

Cash’s meeting with Jim Bell (Ring BC) proved a closely fought contest between well-matched rivals in the Class C 66kg group.

The determined West Ham hopeful was forced to dig deep, but he came through after landing scoring shots to make sure of another unanimous decision.

Newham BC entry Callum Edwards dropped a split verdict in his Alliance Youth 57kg semi-final clash with Dale Youth rival John O’Meara at Swindon on Saturday.

West Ham boxers will also be tested by visiting opposition at their club tournament at East Ham Working Men’s Club next Thursday (December 15).

n Peacock gym-based Tom Baker and Anthony Yarde should be in the crowd in Manchester on Saturday when Frank Buglioni challenges Hosea Burton for his British light-heavyweight title.

Baker, trained by Mark Tibbs, and big puncher Yarde, coached by Tunde Ajayi, look the obvious rivals for the winner of Saturday’s title clash.

English champion Baker is a former Repton clubmate of challenger Buglioni, who was also trained by Tibbs for his early pro fights, and their past connection certainly spices up a possible showdown.

Baker said: “Frank was my main sparring partner so I know the ins and outs of him, like he does with me. Since I have grown and come on loads, he probably thinks he could beat me and I know I could beat him.

“We are good friends and if we could pick we would not not fight each other, but it is a business and if we need to fight, we will.”

However, rated just one place behind Manchester’s Burton – and above both Buglioni and Baker – is hot prospect Yarde who has won nine fights, eight by stoppages, and will be hunting for titles in 2017.

The undefeated northern fighter is a 3-1 on favourite to defend his title against Buglioni, but the winner can certainly expect testing challenges ahead.

The Eddie Hearn bill topped by Anthony Joshua’s world title defence against American Eric Molina features six title fights and will be screened on Sky Box Office pay per view.

The action includes a British heavyweight title showdown between Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora who have been swapping insults in the build-up.

Meanwhile, Conor Benn, son of two-weight world champion Nigel, looks for his sixth straight pro victory on the bill that also features Scott Quigg, Callum Smith and Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

n Unbeaten Peacock gym-based super-middleweight Alan Higgins won the Southern Area title as he recorded his 12th straight win at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane on Friday.

The 28-year-old was taken the distance for the first time in four bouts, but was good value for his points win over durable Peterborough campaigner Cello Renda.

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