IBC’s Enrique Williams on his way to victory against South Oxhey ABC’s Adam Everitt. Photos: Islington Boxing Club/Emma Tarrant
A SHOWCASE of top amateur boxing under the chandeliers in Bloomsbury proved such a big hit that organizers have already planned a second round later this year.
Around 500 fans flocked to the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square last month to support Islington Boxing Club’s (IBC) first dinner show since 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
And the night certainly lived up to expectations as the crowds cheered on some of the best and brightest throughout the 10-bout extravaganza.
James Riley was named ‘Best Home Boxer of the Night’ after his win against Sampson Walker
Having seen no fewer than five shows canceled during the various lockdowns, matchmaker Reggie Hagland was more than happy to overlook all the usual strains and stresses that come with organizing such action-packed events.
He said: “All those that boxed on the show gave it their all and fully deserved to box in front of a very supportive crowd. The atmosphere was blinding!
“Our shows are a vital fundraiser and help cover the costs of the everyday running of the club.
“To be able to finally host a dinner show again after such a long break was fantastic.
Islington Boxing Club enjoyed a successful dinner show with a 10-bout extravaganza in Bloomsbury
“The event was sponsored by Geo F Trumper, and the club is extremely grateful for all of their support.”
Revealing that the wait for a return to Westminster won’t be so long this time around, Reggie added: “We’ve already booked a date for our next show, and will be back at the Royal National Hotel in November.”
IBC’s long-awaited showpiece couldn’t have started any better, with their young boxer Harleigh Cosgrave, 10, making her debut in a skills contest against Olivia Isidore-Barnes from Rumbles Boxing Academy, who was also making her debut.
Issac Gibson, pictured with dad Paul, earned a unanimous victory over John McDonagh at 48kg
Next to step between the ropes for IBC was Issac Gibson, who lives in Camden Town. Competing at 48kg, the 14-year-old boxed well to earn a unanimous victory over John McDonagh from White Hart Lane Boxing Academy.
Jake Doherty, from Stoke Staffs ABC, was guesting for IBC against New Kings BC’s Bobby Mullay. But it proved a tough night for the son of former IBC boxer Tom Doherty and nephew of club chairman Mick Doherty, as he lost via a unanimous decision.
IBC debutant Baran Kaya got the red corner back to winning ways. Competing at 77kg, the 17-year-old won the first two rounds against Brookside ABC’s Thomas Long and, despite starting to pull towards the end, did enough to earn a unanimous verdict off the judges.
Reggie Hagland with Dan Ellis, left, and TJ Lynch
Team Islington then suffered a second defeat, with Joseph Burton losing his 61kg bout against Ibrahim Idris from Fitzroy Lodge ABC by way of a unanimous decision.
The most entertaining bout of the night saw IBC’s Enrique Williams box on the front foot throughout his contest against South Oxhey ABC’s Adam Everitt, which resulted in his opponent receiving two standing-eight counts in the opening round.
Fought at 71kg, Williams picked the perfect punches as he marked his IBC debut with a unanimous win.
After a successful auction and raffle at the interval, stylish light-middleweight TJ Lynch continued IBC’s winning run by stopping Dan Ellis from RAF Northolt Boxing Club in the opening round.
IBC committee member Sabrina Edwards presents trophies to Harleigh Cosgrave, left, and Olivia Isidore-Barnes at the Royal National Hotel
IBC supporters were given further reason to cheer when Gabriel Cutteriez, boxing at 75kg, defeated South Oxhey ABC’s Ethan O’Malley via unanimous decision.
Boxing at 80kg, James Riley then produced a performance that would later earn him the “Best Home Boxer of the Night” award as he won a unanimous win over Sampson Walker from RAF Northolt Boxing Club.
The final bout of the evening saw a rematch between IBC light-middleweight Jonny James and South Oxhey ABC’s Jamie Cooke.
In their previous encounter it was the Islington man who won via unanimous decision.
On this occasion, however, it was Cooke who earned a 4-1 split-decision victory with a display that saw him named the “Best Away Boxer of the Night”.
It is hoped “a triology decider” is on the cards.