Youth Championships – semi-finals round-up
February 29, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny
Sameenah Toussaint will go in search of her fifth national title after booking her at Finals Day of the England Boxing National Youth Championships 2020.
The Northolt boxer, a regular selection for England, used her superior range to good effect at Birtley ABC against a game opponent in Coventry University’s Tayla Rushton.
Having beaten one opponent she has defeated before in securing that unanimous success, she will now face another familiar foe, in the shape of Olivia Holmes, in her Female Under 54kg final.
“I’m pleased with my opponent and thought I did a good job,” he said. “I boxed my opponent a couple of months back at the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup and performed just as well, if not better than then.
“I beat my final opponent a couple of years back, so I’m very confident I can do it again. I’ve been national champion four times before and it would mean everything to me to make it a fifth.”
For her part, Holmes was also an impressive victor as she saw off the challenge of Attleborough’s Lydia Nagle.
The Rotunda boxer won a unanimous verdict and believes her efforts in the gym are paying off.
She said: “I’ve worked hard for this and I felt I deserved to go through to the final.
“I’ve been doing a lot of sparring and training twice a day. I’m boxing a good opponent in the final, but winning unanimously in my semi-final has given me confidence.”
In the Men’s Youth section, another looking to claim multiple titles is Hoddesdon’s John Hedges.
Having lost in last year’s final to Birtley’s Dan Toward, the Under 75kg boxer is hoping to go one better this time after taking a split decision victory over Guildford’s Joel Bartell.
“I was not quite myself in there today, but I got through, and I feel I can pick it up because I’ve had six national finals and am experienced at this level.
“I’ve won it twice and got to the final every other time, losing last year, so I don’t want to make that mistake again. I think this year is my year.”
There was an eye-catching win for Barnard Castle’s Daniel Jackson, as he got the better of England international Patrick Hewitt of Leigh ABC.
The Under 49kg contest went to former on a split and he said: “I have boxed Patrick before and got beaten on that occasion, but I thought I could get revenge.
“There were a few things in his style that I picked out that helped me win this one. I know the lad I’ve got in the final is a good lad, but you have to be in it to win it.”
Hewitt was not the only England international to fall, with Hoddesdon Kyle Quinn and European Junior silver medallist Shelby-Marie Lee also going out, losing to Croxteth’s Jack Turner and Priory Park’s Kelsey Oakley respectively.
In the Youth Cadet section bouts that were completed, Isaac Okoh, of Chadwell St Mary, dug deep to prevail at Under 75kg.
The tall and rangy Chadwell St Mary boxer beat a determined Lyas Smith of Phoenix ABC, Nottingham by a unanimous decision after using his superior reach to good effect.
“I thought the bout went well and my jab worked well and it was good to get back in the ring,” he said.
“I’m always confident, so I’m hoping to go well in the final tomorrow.”
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