Wales win three gold medals at the 2017 GB Championships in Cardiff

Wales win three gold medals at the 2017 GB Championships in Cardiff

This weekend, the 2017 GB Elite Championships took place at the Sport Wales National Centre in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

BoxingWales.com were ringside for the final session on Saturday, where Wales came away with three gold and two silver medals.

Light-flyweight: Aqeel Ahmed (Scotland) wins Unanimous Decision vs Ashley Williams (Wales).

In Williams’ typical forthright manner, he applied direct pressure from the opening bell. Ahmed was successful in finding single counters and while Williams was undeterred, it was the Scot’s shots that initially stood out.

In the second round, Williams was able to flurry with short hooks to the body when Ahmed got stuck on the ropes. However, those moments were outnumbered by the red corner’s cleaner counter-punching and kept Ahmed a few steps ahead.

The pair set a barnstorming pace and it only increased in the final session, which was Williams’ strongest of the three. He managed to catch up with Ahmed on more occasions than before, leading to thumping even exchanges in the afternoon’s best bout.

Women, Light-flyweight: (Wales) Lynsey Holdaway wins Unanimous Decision vs Miriam Zouhou (England).

For a high-energy aggressor, Holdaway retains an impressive ability to select her shots on the front foot and it was in effect early on against Zouhou. When the visitor did venture forward, Holdaway’s overhand right encouraged her against it, bloodying Zuhou’s nose by the end of the opener.

That momentum carried on in the second round and Zuhou was in constant retreat. With nothing of note coming back, Holdaway forced a standing count and Zuhou’s nose was inspected by the doctor moments afterwards.

Holdaway was more cautious in the third, perhaps guilty of protecting her lead. It afforded Zuhou a chance to edge forward and she sustained shots more substantial than arm punches for the first time, though it wasn’t enough to turn the tide. It’s the third GB triumph that Holdaway has secured on her impressive CV, which also features a European silver medal.

Women, Bantamweight: Ebonie Jones (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Helen Jones (Wales).

Much of the first round was spent in centre ring as both attempted to warm in to proceedings. It was Ebonie whose output was busier, making sure she had the first and last say in their exchanges. Helen owned a height and reach advantage but Ebonie’s close quarters tactics often neutralized those attributes.

To Helen’s credit, she stayed persistent and her straighter shots had their most success in the third round. However, it couldn’t reverse her surnamesake’s well-earned lead.

Lightweight: Mickey McDonagh (Wales) wins Unanimous Decision vs Thomas Hodgson (England).

McDonagh entered the GB Championships in red-hot form, winning the Welsh Seniors and a multi-nations event in recent months. The Merlin’s Bridge talent was frustrated in the first round, unable to negotiate Hodgson backwards, who in return found gaps more frequently. Still, it was a close session and McDonagh’s own activity often reminded the visitor not to overcommit.

When Hodgson’s eagerness was more evident in the second round, McDonagh took advantage, especially with his favoured left hook. McDonagh’s jab made also an appearance in the middle session and it helped him put arm’s length between the two.

McDonagh chose to trade in the deciding round, holding his feet to give him the leverage to launch a thumping right cross whilst wise enough to sway backwards when a reply was sent. The two matched each other punch for punch in the final minute, both believing their case had been made by the final bell and it was McDonagh given the nod for his third GB title.

Women, Welterweight: Lauren Price (Wales) wins Split Decision vs Stephanie Wroe (England).

Bargoed’s Price has plenty of big event experience, having collected medals at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games. Those tasks have come far from home and it was refreshing to see the southpaw compete at home.

She began with her jab, which was whipped from her waist to surprise the taller Wroe, who wasn’t able to use her longer reach as she intended. After Price began the second stanza brightly, the pair took it in turns to attack in the remainder of the round but there was little clean action.

There were concerning moments when Price twice tumbled to the canvas. A punch didn’t land on either occasion and the southpaw may have been injured. Both were guilty of making it messy up close and the referee lost patience with Price on two occasions, giving her public warnings that thankfully didn’t prove costly.

Heavyweight: Natty Ngwenya (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Kody Davies (Wales)

Blackwood’s Davies, who recently left the Team GB set up in Sheffield, has started working with former world champion turned trainer Gavin Rees. The southpaw, who is light on his feet for a heavyweight, raced forward on the opening bell. It was an attempt to force Ngwenya backwards but he didn’t oblige, leading to scrappy clinches as they worked each other out. By the end of the opener, Davies got to grips with Ngwenya’s unorthodox stance, landing a left hand to seal the session.

In the following rounds, the Welshman alternated his own stance, sometimes walking forward behind a high tight guard and leaving his lead hand at his waist on other occasions. Ngwenya wasn’t given open target but at the same time, Davies’ own work was being smothered, too.

The two were eager to implement their own strength, though it was the Welshman who was dragged down below his level as the pair spent too much of the second and third rounds in messy exchanges filled with rabbit punches. It wasn’t a natural pattern for Davies, who is best as a sharp long ranger, though he shouldn’t be down on himself as the decision still could’ve gone either way.

Full results:

  • Light-flyweight: Aqeel Ahmed (Scotland) wins Unanimous Decision vs Ashley Williams (Wales).
  • Women, Light-flyweight: (Wales) Lynsey Holdaway wins Unanimous Decision vs Miriam Zouhou (England).
  • Flyweight: Blane Hyland (England) wins Split Decision vs Reece McFadden (Scotland).
  • Bantamweight: Lee McGregor (Scotland) wins Unanimous Decision vs Louie Lynn (England).
  • Women, Bantamweight: Ebonie Jones (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Helen Jones (Wales).
  • Women, featherweight: Nina Hughes (England) wins Split Decision vs Extuxia Dustuxia (Scotland).
  • Lightweight: Mickey McDonagh (Wales) wins Unanimous Decision vs Thomas Hodgson (England).
  • Women, lightweight: Shone Whitewell (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Lynn Calder (Scotland).
  • Light-welterweight: Martin McDonagh (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Robbie McKechnie (Scotland).
  • Women, light-welterweight: Paige Murney (England) wins Split Decision vs Megan Reid (Scotland).
  • Welterweight: Harris Akbar (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Stephen Newnes (Scotland).
  • Women, Welterweight: Lauren Price (Wales) wins Split Decision vs Stephanie Wroe (England).
  • Middleweight: John Docherty (Scotland) wins Split Decision vs Jordan Reynolds (England).
  • Light-heavyweight: George Crotty (England) wins Split Decision vs Sean Lazzerinni (Scotland).
  • Heavyweight: Natty Ngwenya (England) wins Unanimous Decision vs Kody Davies (Wales)
  • Super-heavyweight: Soloman Dacres (England) wins Split Decision vs Mitchell Barton (Scotland).

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