BOXING: Kings Heath’s Smith wins battle of Northampton pair at NABCs

CHAMPION! - Northampton boxer Ashley Lane  was at Sixfields on Saturday to show off the Commonwealth Super Bantamweight belt he won recently in Swindon. Lane was given a great ovation from Cobblers fans at half-time in their 1-0 win over Blackpool.
CHAMPION! - Northampton boxer Ashley Lane was at Sixfields on Saturday to show off the Commonwealth Super Bantamweight belt he won recently in Swindon. Lane was given a great ovation from Cobblers fans at half-time in their 1-0 win over Blackpool.

Kings Heath ABC secured four big wins in this year’s NABCs held at Cotgrave in Nottinghamshire last weekend.

The highlight was the middleweight local derby between Harringay gold medalist Noel Smith and Far Cotton’s Ben Fail, who is currently rated No.5 in Britain.

Smith and Fail were boxing each other for the second time at Senior Elite level and it was to be the Kings Heath boxer who once again emerged victorious after three quality rounds.

It was a bout that was boxed at a tremendous pace with the tempo swinging one way then the other throughout.

Both lads dug very deep and neither lacked anything in fitness or technique, showing equal determination from the opening to the final bell.

Smith took the split decision but both emerged with tremendous credit in a bout that was worthy of a national final.

“It was a pity that they had to meet so early in the competition, but once their names were in, everyone else dropped out,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.

“Noel sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves as he is a handful for anyone when he is on song.

“But we have got nothing but respect for the Fail brothers.

“They are top-class operators and it took two to make this bout the spectacle that it was.”

Noel Smith’s younger brother, Patrick, left nothing to chance as he carried on his explosive rich vein of form with a brutal display of power punching against Jack Johnson (Earl Shilton).

Smith dominated throughout and a count in the second round and heavy-handed body shots sealed victory and put the outcome beyond any doubt.

Smith picked up a wide unanimous points win.

Nico Leavers had to overcome some very negative tactics from Dan Canter (Elite Golden Gloves) but kept his cool to claim the victory.

Leavers used his experience as he cut off the ring and scored with accurate

shots.

His opponent did everything not to engage throughout, but despite this, classy featherweight Leavers boxed strictly to instructions and the result was never in any doubt .

Jag Briah received a bye but the Kings Heath team used this to their advantage and were able to get a bout in the night before, against Owen Blunden (Norwich Lads) at the Holiday Inn at Norwich.

Blunden, who had a huge support following him, was comprehensively beaten as the Kings Heath boxer gave a fantastic display, resulting in two counts being given to the home boxer.

It silenced some of the crowd, who had unfortunately booed Briah on his entrance.

“We were delighted with all our boxers,” Daly said.

“The weeks of hard work and the extra sessions, the teamwork and the competitive edge is what this game is all about, but we have to do it all again, so it is important that we remain totally focused over the next few weeks.”

Magic Mason

Far Cotton ABC’s Mason Fury earned a superb win in Birmingham, beating Levi Scotland on a unanimous decision.

Fury had far too much for the Willienhall Town ABC fighter, earning the victory in his second fight for Far Cotton.

It was an outstanding performance, with Fury winning in style.