BOXING: Cameron's final chance to qualify for Olympics
Chantelle Cameron faces a date with destiny in Kazhakstan this week.
The Northampton boxer has one final chance to qualify for Rio 2016, and will need to reach the final four of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Astana to secure her place at the Olympic Games.
Cameron will compete for Great Britain in the 60kg category in a tournament that begins today (Thursday) and runs for a total of nine days.
The 24-year-old could have qualified for the Olympics in via the AIBA European Olympic qualification eventin Turkey last month, but she lost in the preliminary round.
KINGS HEATH ABC ace Eithan James has secured his place to represent England in the European Championships in Hungary next month .
James was put through a very tough selection process in Sheffield, with the elite of junior boxing facing a number of challenges and intense, quality sparring.
But the four times national champion stood up to the test and did enough to impress the coaches.
“Despite his current success, his spot was not guaranteed but he created a very favourable impression throughout his championship run and excelled in his performance during the selection process against fellow national champions,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.
“He will join a small but very talented squad aiming to medal next month.
“The European Championships is widely regarded as one of the toughest competitions in the boxing calendar, so this is a fantastic achievement for him just to get on it alone.
“But he will have to be on his A game over the next few weeks in preparation and I am sure he will be, as his dedication is second to none.”
Meanwhile, Eithan’s younger brother, Oliver James, marked his progress with a comfortable win in the pre-quarter-finals of the Schoolboy Championships last weekend.
Oliver earned a unanimous decision win against Morgan Drayton (Tamworth).
The well-balanced Kings Heath lad dominated throughout the bout, establishing an early lead with straight, accurate punching in a competitive bout.
He will also be joined by club-mate Joe Vaughan, sibling of Ben Vaughan, in the quarter-finals in Birtley this weekend as they both seek to follow in their elder brothers’ footsteps for national glory.
Strong light-middleweight Patrick Smith looked in great form as he claimed a unanimous decision win over James Odawango (Willenhall) at Willenhall Sports and Social Club.
It was Smith’s first bout since October and in an all-action contest, he thrilled the sizeable crowd.
Smith was forced to work very hard against an equally determined opponent but his quality body shots turned the tide in his favour as he claimed a fine win away from home.
“We are boxing in Stoke against the Army on Friday, Birmingham on Saturday and Newcastle on Sunday,” Daly said.
“The gym is so busy that we have put another show on in Irthlingborough in June to accommodate our boxers.
“We are continuing to progress as we build in depth for the future.”
FAR COTTON ABC fighter Harry Pullen progressed to the quarter-finals of the Schoolboys Championships with victory last Sunday.
Pullen beat Cleary’s ABC scrapper Jordan Kendell on a unanimous decision after an outstanding display.
He boxed beautifully as he showed his class and skill, listening to the advice that he was given and controlling the fight to the last bell.
But Harry’s brother, Jimmy, narrowly missed out on a place in the next round as he was beaten by Jagbir Mann (Wednesbury ABC) on a split decision.
Far Cotton coach Driton Muhaxheri said: “Everyone that was there and watched the fight could not believe that the decision went against us.
“At the end of the day I can honestly say that I could not be any prouder of the boys and their performance.
“It is just unfortunate that we were at the wrong end of Jimmy’s decision.”
Two days earlier, Far Cotton’s Callum Terry was beaten by Johnny Conners (Earls Shilton ABC) on a unanimous decision.
On Saturday, the club had four boxers on a skills show that took place in Hinckley.
Jermaine Dhliwayo boxed Conner Wilshire of Earls Shilton ABC, Mathew Ward faced Amos Wilshire of Earls Shilton ABC and Louie Oliver took on Robbie Warner of Stratford ABC.
Each Far Cotton scrapper showed their class in their skills matches.
Cole Connolly’s bout did not take place as opponent Daniel Hasnain weighed in too heavy.