Conner Tudsbury (Moss Side Fire) v Karol Itauma (St Mary's)

England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2019 – day one pre quarter report

April 5, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny


Karol Itauma won the battle of the hot prospects by edging out Conner Tudsbury in the stand-out bout on pre quarter-finals day at the England Boxing National Amateur Championships, held in Nottingham.

Both boxers were stepping up from Youth to Senior level boasting impressive credentials that made the Under 81kg match-up at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village a tough one to predict.

St Mary’s ABC’s Itauma was last year’s Olympic Youth Champion and also took silver medal at the European Youth Championships, while Moss Side Fire’s Tudsbury has claimed European bronze medals at both Youth and Junior level in the past.

But it was the Kent boxer who won a split decision against his Manchester-based opponent in a captivating bout where both men had their moments.

“I feel good after that win, but it was obviously close and was always going to be,” said Itauma afterwards. “It’s good to get the first bout out of the way against one of my old team-mates who I’ve got full respect for.

“We went at it for three rounds and then shook hands after, which is what it’s all about. Tomorrow I’ve got Ben Rees and I feel good for that bout.”

Ben Vaughan came to Nottingham having qualified to be a Paratrooper in P company only last week, but there was no celebration win for him in the ring.

The Kings Heath boxer, who went to the Commonwealth Youth Championships for England last year, was beaten on a split decision by Sunderland’s Travis Waters at Under 69kg.

But Worcester City’s Owen Cooper, a former England Boxing National Youth Championships winner, fared better at the same weight, seeing off the challenge of Youness Baati (B&H) with a unanimous triumph.

Another bout between two boxers with excellent records at Junior and Youth level came in the Under 60kg division, where Eithan James took on Joe Tyers (pictured above).

It was North-Eastener Tyers, from Darlington, who got the nod on a split to leave Kings Heath’s James left to return to Northamptonshire disappointed.

Local hopes are very much still alive after success for Nottinghamshire-based trio Ezra Taylor, Nico Leivars and Daniel Canter.

Bilborough’s Taylor, whose gym is yards away from the event venue, used home advantage to good effect for a unanimous verdict, the same result achieved by Sutton-in-Ashfield’s Leivars (who represents Hoddesdon) and Newark’s Daniel Canter (Epic GG).

Canter said: “It was a good win for me, a hard one. I put him down in the second round and thought the referee might stop it at that point, but he didn’t so I had to work for three rounds.”

“I’ve got probably the best boxer in the country (Hamza Mahmood) in the quarter-finals now, but I happy with being the underdog, as I always seem to be.”

The only women’s bout of the day was first up, at Under 51kg, between Monika Markowska of Jersey Leonis and Michelle Klich of Team Greaves.

It was ex-England Junior Klich who was delighted to win a split decision and ensure she advances to tomorrow’s quarter-finals, where the female action will really hot up with some intriguing bouts in prospect.