BOXING: Ben enjoys his golden moment at Alexandra Palace
Far Cotton boxer Ben Fail struck gold at the weekend when he won the Haringey Box Cup at Alexandra Palace in London.
The Box Cup is Europe’s largest amateur boxing event, and it takes place over three consecutive days, with 500 male and female boxers from all over Europe competing.
Competing in the Senior A 75kg Group C competition, Fail won three fights in three days, all on unaninmous points decisions to claim the gold.
First up in the quarter-final on Friday was Nathan Cooke of Eastside Boxing Club and Fail won comfortably, with coach John Daly saying: “Ben boxed southpaw style and got his combinations spot on in this fight. He boxed at a nice pace.”
On Saturday Fail faced a semi-final against Finchley BC’s Chavez Campbell, and once again he got through with a unanimous decision.
“Ben was always in control in the fight,” said Daly. “He boxed really well throughout and it was a comfortable win.”
That set up a final against Swedish boxer Ahmed Rossi, who at 25 is six years older than Fail.
“We watched his semi-final on Saturday and it was clear he is very strong,” said Daly. “Rossi is an elite boxer who has beaten some top fighters from all over Europe, but Ben wasn’t fazed at all.”
The pair met in Sunday’s final and with Rossi always coming forward, Fail caught him cold with a right jab and left upper-cut that led to the Swede receiving a standing count to eight from the referee.
In the second round Fail boxed to instructions, but by the third weariness of both fighters after a hectic weekend led to a real toe-to-toe battle in the final round.
“They had a real war in that round with both fighters toe-to-toe and the crowd were up on their feet, but Ben had done enough to get the unanimous decision,” said Daly.
Ben was able to celebrate his victory with his mum and family who had made the trip to support him, and he dedicated the victory to his late father, who passed away around four years ago.
Writing on his Facebook page, Fail said: “Three days, three fights, three wins and I am bringing the gold medal home.
“It was a good weekend for me as I boxed three very different styles and adapted to all of them
“Hard work pays off and couldn’t ask for it to be on a better day then Father’s Day. The medal goes to our biggest supporter and the best man I know. I love you dad!”
Daly added: “It was a brilliant weekend and Ben really deserved the victory, I am just so pleased that he has won something.
“I have been coaching him and his twin brother Carl since they were 12 and they are brilliant young men, as is their brother Aaron as well.”
Northampton middleweight Drew Brown is back in the ring next month, writes MATTHEW BOZEAT.
The 20-year-old crowd pleaser is set to be matched in Birmingham on Saturday, July 9.
Brown was a winner on his professional debut at The Deco in April, outpointing Kevin McCauley over four rounds, and the punching painter and decorator says he’s looking to keep a cooler head in his next fight.
“I must have watched that fight 100 times,” said Brown, who’s sponsored by A1 County Couriers.
“I think I did okay, but I need to calm down a bit.
“I just want to get in there and get on with it, but I know I have to relax a bit more.
“I’ve been working on taking my time and working my way in behind my jab.”
In Brown’s corner next month will be John Daly, who taught him to box at Far Cotton ABC, and Spencer McCracken.
Daly said: “Drew has been with me since he was nine years old and I will be with him throughout his professional career as well.
“He’s a tough kid who can fight and we hope we can take him to titles.”
Brown has been sparring with a fighter who’s won titles, Sam Eggington.
Eggington, the former British and Commonwealth welterweight champion, tops the bill on next month’s show in Birmingham.
He’s being steered towards an all-Birmingham clash with Frankie Gavin in front of the Sky Sports cameras later this year.
Brown said: “Sam is strong and tries to walk straight through you.
“He’s clever as well. I try to stay with him, but it’s tough.”
Brown says Eggington is an inspiration, saying: “Sam has won titles and has got a good name in boxing.
“That’s what I want to do.”
Tickets for the show in Birmingham are available from 07909-442443.
In-form James closing in on European medal
Four-time National Champion Eithan James claimed two more notable international victories to reach the quarter finals of the European Championships later this week.
Kins Heath boxer James is representing England at the championships in Hungary, and opened up with a resounding unanimous points win over Sheptim Bajoku from Kosovo.
England team manager Tyron Harold was delighted with the victory, and said: “This was an assured performance that belied Eithan’s international experience.
“He produced a combination of slick footwork and lightning combinations.”
Second up two days later was another excellent unanimous points win, this time over Polish champion Rade Rosel.
James took the initiative in what was a scrappy affair against a tall opponent who made the bout very difficult.
Overall the England team are more than pleased with the Kings Heath boxer’s performance in one ofthe strongest competitions within the boxing calendar .
James is now preparing for his quarter-final against Maksim Halanichez from Ukraine.
The Northampton youngster knows one more victory will secure a him a medal.
Meanwhile, Kings Heath’s youngest boxer Elvis Biddell impressed again.
He kept his composure to claim his second win in a week as he overcame Ben Newbold of Prospects Boxing Club at Style nightclub in Derby with a clear-cut points win.
Kings Heath coach Arthur Daly was delighted with the performance, and said: “It is very pleasing for the club to continually produce at every level, whether it be international or raw novices.
“Ultimately it is equally satisfying, as it reflects on the teamwork within the club’s coaching structure which is working positively, as the results show.”