England Boxing National Junior Championships 2019 – day two Finals Day report

March 24, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny


Shelby-Marie Lee was all smiles as she defeated reigning European Junior Champion Alex Brown to clinch her first national title on a thrilling Finals Day at the England Boxing National Championships 2019.

On a day when bouts did not always go to the form book at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre, Rotherham, she boxed superbly to record the biggest win of her career to date in the Female Junior Under 46kg category.

After claiming a split decision, the Minster boxer can now look forward to boxing as part of the England squad and also secured a coveted title belt – plus a lift onto the shoulders of one of her coaching team to celebrate.

“I boxed Alex two years ago in my last year’s in the Schools class and lost, so it’s a story of getting revenge for me,” said Lee. “I knew it was going to be a tough bout because of what she’s done for England, so I’m delighted.

“It’s hard boxing people you know quite well, but it’s got to be done. All the hard work has come down to this one moment – the six minutes in the final that matter most – and I did it on the day.

“I think that’s the best I have boxed so far and I’m looking forward now to going to some Box Cups and boxing with England, as well as the Three Nations.”

In the Male Junior Under 60kg category, two old foes and England team-mates once again came together – but with a different result to their last meeting.

Having been beaten in the NABC finals in November, Jude Moore (Downend) was this time the victor over Jake Abrol (Sharpstyle) in a contest that split the judges.

He said: “I trained differently, but smart and exceptionally hard, for this. I feel that anyone in the world can get what they want if they believe in it enough.

“It’s a cliché, but this is proof right here of it. I’ve lost before because of my ego, but I’ve really knuckled down and learned from my mistakes.”

There was an outstanding first for Lansbury boxer James Fernley, who became the first ever from his club to claim a full national title.

He backed up an NABCs win before Christmas by beating Cody Smith (Hull BC) in a high-octane bout that saw the boxers go toe to toe, winning a split decision in the Male Junior Under 52kg category.

“Someone has won a development title from Lansbury before, but never a ‘proper’ national title so I’m buzzing because I’ve waited so long for this,” he said.

“Everyone has been saying that I have potential, but to go out there and actually show them they were right is a dream come true for me.”

Trowbridge had a day to remember as two of their boxers came up trumps – both in the Junior Cadets section.

First Sam Varey won the Male Under 46kg category by edging out Sefton’s Harry Burke on a split and then Alex Bryant survived a standing eight-count to beat Zara Aitcheson (Kings Heath) in the Female Under 54kg category.

“It’s crazy that I’ve won the nationals. I had to dig deep, but I came on strong at the end and I think that’s what won it for me. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but so worth it,” she said.

Miley Cash was again impressive in beating the talented Zayad Ahmed – just a day after he had seen off former European Schools Champion Shane Pattinson.

The Pinewood teenager earned a split decision in the Male Junor Cadet Under 50kg in a bout where both boxers received plenty of crowd support.

“I’ve boxed some very good boys and done it the hard way, but I’m delighted to win this title. It means a lot to me – I’ve been training for this for six months, so I’m happy now.”

Repton’s Prince Dubois could count on the support of family members Caroline (World, European and Youth Olympic Champion) and Daniel (now professional) for his bout in the under 70kg category against HEBA’s Henry Rowbotham.

And he put that to good use by becoming the third family sibling to win a national title with a unanimous success.

It was an excellent day for Middlesbrough-based clubs, with no less than five of the town’s represntatives winning their finals.

David Adams (Male Junior Under 36kg), Jim Smith (Male Junior Cadet 52kg) and Andre Mannin (Male Junior Cadet Under 57kg), all Phil Thomas, Tom Adams-Buckworth (Male Junior Under 40kg), of Middlesbrough and Ashleigh Lane (Female Junior Cadet Under 57kg), from East Middlesborugh, were all victorious.

Images by Andy Chubb.