School Euros 23: Day four the most successful so far for Team England
August 21, 2023 | by Chris Boyd
The Three Lions won six of their seven bouts on day four of the EUBC Schools European Championships 2023 in Maribor, Slovenia with five female boxers advancing to the semi-finals.
In the first quarterfinal of the day for Team England, Second City’s Summer Grigg faced Arina Hurieva of Israel at Under 36kg.
Affectionately known as the pit bull, Summer has waited patiently for her opportunity to burst onto the scene at this summer’s tournament and she seized her chance immediately with an explosive first round.
Grigg deployed those phase attacks and backhand uppercuts to stun her Israeli opponent and take every judge scorecard in the first, before upping the pace and aggression further in the second.
A composed display in the third round saw Summer take her place in the semi-finals and earn the chance to box for a medal, via a classy unanimous points decision win.
Next up for the girls and Team England was Teigan King facing Under 40kg boxer Anhelina Melekh of Ukraine.
The opening round was very busy for King as Melekh crowded her work, but she came through it and went on to improve in the second, with some tidy combinations finding the mark.
The High Fell boxers booked her place in the semi-finals with a calculated third round to take a unanimous points decision victory.
With the Wolf Pack two from two, it was the turn of Lily Bassett to keep the hot streak going as she faced Italian Michela Guglielmon in an Under 42kg quarterfinal.
Like Grigg, England’s opening ceremony flag bearer has had to wait patiently for her turn and like Grigg, she was explosive in her first round.
The fast-paced round displayed the quality of the two boxers, but Bassett edged it to take the advantage.
The TM Boxing schoolgirl inflicted a standing eight count on her Italian opponent in the second and produced a tenacious display in the third to advance into the semi-finals via a unanimous decision.
The first of two schoolboys took to the ring in the form of Billingham’s Sonny Hollingsworth who faced difficult opposition in Azerbaijan’s Toghrul Guliyev at Under 57kg.
The Azerbaijani was the shorter of the two but displayed incredible strength and toughness to take the first round and prevented Sonny from getting the long shots working in the second also.
Sonny couldn’t have given any more in the third round as he put on an exceptional display of power punching, but sadly it wasn’t to be for the Tyne, Tees & Wear boxer as he succumbed to a unanimous decision defeat.
An excellent experience for Sonny at this summer’s Euros will no doubt provide him with the tools he needs to come back stronger.
It was a schoolboy’s one-two as Luke Moore took to the ring next for an Under 60kg bout against another Azerbaijan boxer in Ali Abdullayev.
Despite the Azerbaijani having a significant height and reach advantage, Moore was able to put together a quality opening round to swing it in his favour.
Clever sharp lead hand jabs, lightning hooks, and impressive footwork were all part of the Englishman’s arsenal in the second as he forced a standing eight count following a great backhand hook.
A champagne performance from the Henry’s Gym boxer carried him into the quarterfinals via unanimous decision.
It would be a Cleary’s gym double-header to round out day four for the Wolf Pack.
First up was Serena Mali, who faced Italian Giorgia La Rosa at Under 46kg.
Mali purred around the ring, picking her shots with confidence and accuracy to take the first round.
She looked to be coasting in the second before her Italian opponent dug in and began to neutralise Mali’s attacks meaning La Rosa shaded the second.
With all to box for in the final round, Serena found an extra gear at the perfect time to take a 3-2 split decision victory in what ultimately proved to be a very close bout, as two superbly talented boxers went head-to-head at the top of their game.
The final boxer in action was Jaya Kalsi as she faced Greek opposition in Evangelina Leon Maria at Under 48kg.
A really busy start from both boxers led to a close round going in favour of the Cleary’s Gym school girl.
The southpaw Greek pilled forward in the second round, which played right into Kalsi’s hands as she inflicted two standing eight counts to force a second-round referee stopped contest.
An explosive performance capped off quite an excellent day for the talented team of Schools boxers, taking six wins from seven.