England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2019 – day three semi-finals report
April 23, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Kirsty Hill pulled off a shock win over the GB number one seed Hannah Robinson to earn her place at next week’s England Boxing National Amateur Championships Finals Day 2019 on an exciting day of semi-final action at the Hadden Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham.
The Cleethorpes Trinity boxer went into the bout with the reigning Female Under 60kg champion as a big underdog, but was not overawed by her distinguished Birtley opponent.
And in a tight, evenly-matched contest, it was Hill who got the nod from the judges to book her place on the bout list at Manchester Central next Saturday (2pm start, 1pm doors, ticket details here) that promises to be a mouth-watering afternoon and evening of boxing.
“I’m absolutely delighted, as I’ve never made it this far in a nationals before,” said Hill. “I said beforehand that whatever the result I was going to leave everything in there and just really work for it.
“It was a tough bout but it’s great to have made it through to face Louise Orton, which will be another tough ask.”
Another who will be making his debut in a senior final is Amaar Akbar of Warrior Breed, who has won through from the pre quarter-finals in the Male Under 64kg category with consecutive wins in the past three days.
His achievement is all the more commendable given it is the teenager’s first since moving up from Youth level. His latest victory saw his secure a unanimous verdict against Bayan Khalil of Roy Richardson’s.
“Given it’s my first year as a senior, and the tough draw all the way from the regional stages, I’m delighted to get through.
“I’ve beaten some good boxers, including last year’s finalist, and been doubted all the way through, so after a performance that wasn’t quite so good today, I want to go on and win it next week after getting some rest.”
In the Male Under 81kg category, there was a clash of the forces, as the navy, in the shape of George Crotty, took on the army, represented by Carnell Browne.
It was the more experienced Crotty who claimed a split decision win, but Browne highlighted his undoubted promise, having moved up from Youth level.
“Yesterday I boxed someone they called ‘The Terminator’, who just keeps coming forward, and I knew that would give me a good workout,” said Crotty. “I knew if I got through that I would be OK against Carnell, who probably suited me more to go up against.
“There’s always a bit of rivalry between the forces teams – it’s a bit like a local derby! I won this title in 2017 and lost it last year after a bad performance, so I want to win it back and show why I am the number one seed.”
Facing him in the final in what has been an extremely competitive division will be Triumph’s Aaron Bowen, who came through an absorbing encounter with St Mary’s Karol Itauma with a split decision.
The class on show was highlighted by that the victorious Coventry boxer, a Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist in 2017, was taking on the 2018 Olympic Youth Games gold medallist.
Bowen said: “It’s a massive achievement to get to Finals Day. I’ve been to a Junior Final before but not at senior level, so I’m delighted.
“I had to dig deep and bite down to make it through because he is a very good boxer with a good pedigree. It’s going to be a great show up in Manchester.”
No-one was ore thrilled to win a Finals Day place than Any Andrew of Haringey, who has recently boxed for New Zealand in the World Championships.
She performed a little celebration jig in her post-bout interview, having beaten Wellington’s Jade Pearce with a unanimous verdict.
“I literally have no words to describe how I feel, I’m so excited!” said Andrew. “It wasn’t my best performance, but a win’s a win.
“I wasn’t very well last week, but now I’ve got a week to prepare and make sure that I’m ready for Manchester.”
In another division bursting with talent, Male Under 75kg, Ramtin Musah looked the part in his unanimous success over Ben Fail of Far Cotton.
The Beartown boxer will now meet GB’s Mark Dickinson in what is sure to be a gripping final after the Birtley man defeated Jimmy Tyers of East Durham.
Musah said: “I was very confident going into my bout, even though I was boxing an opponent of a very high level, who was a finalist last year.
“I’ve come on in leaps and bounds recently and reaching the finals means everything to me. It feels like my hard work is starting to pay off.”
The day was rounded off by the Male Over 91kg category, where Delicious Orie followed up his England Boxing National Title Belt win earlier this year by reaching another final.
He beat frequent opponent Steve Robinson of Swalwell but was pushed harder than in other victories against the same man, lining up a bout with Antwi Gideon of Hoddesdon.”
“I’m very happy with my performance – I’ve trained hard for it and put everything into it over the last couple of years to get here,” said Orie.
“It’s been an amazing experience and I’m very respectful of the support I’ve had along the way. I can’t wait to go to Manchester and it’s a pleasure to share the ring with the top boxers in the country across the weights.”