BOXING: More joy for James family as Oliver claims national title

Oliver James (right) joined elder brother Eithan in becoming a national champion
Oliver James (right) joined elder brother Eithan in becoming a national champion

Oliver James joined elder brother Eithan in a unique family double as he became a national champion .

Oliver beat Benjamin Brown (Trumpington ABC) on a split decision at Grantham Leisure Centre in Lincolnshire to claim Kings Heath ABC’s fourth national title this season.

James was the rightful winner in a close bout over three keenly-contested rounds.

The Kings Heath hot-shot handled the highly pressurised final well, with a fast start claiming the first round.

The second round was a little bit messy as both boxers tried to take the initiative but got tangled up at close quarters too often to identify a clear cut winner.

James pushed on in the final round with more eye-catching combinations as he countered and negated everything his opponent did to put the bout beyond any doubt.

Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly was understandably delighted with the display, and overall achievement, of his young charge.

And Daly said: “Oliver boxed in every round in this competition, no byes or lucky draws, and on at least two occasions we were not expected to succeed.

“This was a hard final in front of a huge crowd and it was all about emerging victorious.

“He was both mentally and physically stronger on the day, against an opponent who we knew wouldn’t take a step backwards, but on this occasion he was forced to

“Oliver’s strength of character throughout the last two months is very similar to his older brother’s.

“It is a pleasure to work with both of them.

“They are getting out of the sport the rewards attributed to the dedication that they both consistently apply every time they walk through the gym doors.”

James will now be on the England radar following his impressive achievements during recent months.

And if he needs any advice he only has to ask his sibling, who will soon be taking to the canvas in the colours of his country.

Eithan is currently preparing for the European Championships and there is every chance he will bring even more success to his club before the season is out.

Daly is certainly full of confidence when it comes to Eithan’s chances of impressing for England in the 48kg category.

And the coach said: “There is every possibility that Oliver could box for England as well, but the focus is now on Eithan, who flies out to Hungary next week for the European Championships.

“He is ready and has prepared extremely diligently for this.

“He is very focused on what will be an equally strong tournament over the course of seven days.”

Kings Heath finish the local season off with a show at Irthlingborough Band Club on Sunday.

Boxing starts at 12.30pm and the host club expect to have 15 bouts on the agenda, giving some of the new boxers an opportunity to showcase their talents.

Ben bidding to emulate his brother’s success

Far Cotton middleweight Ben Fail reckons anything his twin brother can do, he can do as well.

Carl Fail has been one of the success stories of the amateur boxing season.

The 19-year-old from East Hunsbury captured the Elite championship last month and added Tri-Nations gold a few weeks later.

Ben is proud of his twin - and keen to follow in his footsteps.

He’s entered in the Haringey Box Cup that gets underway at Alexandra Palace a week tomorrow (June 17) ranked No 10 in England at 75kgs by trade paper Boxing News.

“If I win the gold, I should go up the rankings,” said the 19-year-old southpaw.

“I was surprised to be in the top 10, but it shows they know what level I’m at.

“I believe I’m capable of beating the boys above me as well.

“I really want to be where my brother is. The aim is for us both to win the Elites next season and I’m learning from Carl all the time.

“I know I have to get behind my jab, box more and win rounds clearly like he does.

“I’ve been having scrappy, toe-to-toe fights that the judges are finding hard to score.

“Sometimes you have to stand there and have a fight, but if I can hit and not get hit like my brother does, that impresses the judges.

“I’m sure I will be up there with him next season.”

Fail has been out of the ring since his split points loss to Noel Smith (Kings Heath) in the East Midlands final of the Elite championships, but he’s stayed in the gym with Far Cotton coach John Daly and has picked up valuable experience sparring in top London gyms.

Daly describes the twins as ‘two very pleasant lads to train’ and is convinced both will go on to challenge for British honours in the professional ring.

Ben said: “The aim is to turn professional one day. We will see how the next couple of years go.”

Fail is joined in the Haringey Box Cup by club-mates Morgan Bosley, Connor Downs and Laura Stevens.

Bosley and Downs are both looking for back-to-back golds at Alexandra Palace, while Stevens was a winner there two years ago.

Stevens, who boxed for England against Wales last year, reached the Elite final in Liverpool last month.