School Euros 23: Team England enjoy stunning Day Six

August 23, 2023 | by Chris Boyd


Team England won seven of their eight bouts on day six of the EUBC Schools European Championships 2023, ensuring four boxers will compete in Saturday’s final and three boxers guarantee at least a bronze medal.

The first to step between the ropes for the Wolf Pack was Summer Grigg. The ‘Pit Bull’ came up against Armenia’s Under 36kg boxer Astghik Khachatryan.

Grigg wasted little time in showing she’s huge in heart and a precocious talent, storming out of the corner and imposing constant pressure.

The Second City schoolgirl combined aggression and skill to inflict two standing eight counts in the very first round and force the referee to stop the contest – meaning Grigg is now a European finalist.

Leah Paylor took to the ring for her Under 38kg contest against Saliha Ceylin Pehlivan of Turkey, hoping to emulate Grigg’s achievement.

The Birtley boxer was quick to put on a display of her talents by giving her opponent a standing eight count and bossing the first round.

The second round mirrored the first as Paylor dismantled her southpaw opponent. Powerful backhands were beginning to flow and, following another count for the Turk, the referee was forced to stop the bout as Paylor advanced into the final.

Next up for the Three Lions, this time in quarterfinal action, was Billy Dean Smith of Repton as he faced Shahin Aslanov of Azerbaijan at Under 52kg.

The Azerbaijani proved to be troubling, and the solid southpaw took the first two rounds on the judge’s scorecard.

Entering the last round down by two, Smith needed a big finale, but it wasn’t to be.

A tough day for the Repton boxer as he exited to quality opposition, but Smith can be proved of his tournament overall as he boxed well throughout.

The focus then fell back onto the English schoolgirls as Teigan King entered the ring for her Under 40kg semi-final against Jama Amina Mohamoud of Italy.

The High Fell boxer displayed excellent combination punching, all of which packed with power, as she cut a comfortable figure inside the ring against a taller and much-fancied opponent.

The Italian was ultimately no match for Teigan, as she secured a referee-stopped contest in the third round to give England three stoppages from three and another European finalist.

Lily Bassett was next to the ring on an extremely busy day for the team. The TM Boxing was facing Ireland’s Carley O’Herron in the Under 42kg semi-final.

A busy first round saw Bassett connect with a cluster of combinations and impose herself on the front foot to comfortably take the first round.

The second round was closer but wasn’t enough to worry Bassett, with her Irish opponent warned for holding.

The third round personified Bassett’s style, proving she doesn’t just box you; she consumes you as she never lets up for a second. A great performance was capped with a unanimous points decision victory and a place in the final.

The final schoolgirl of the day came in the form of Rihanna Holden, as she made her tournament bow against Madina Mammadova of Azerbaijan at Under 60kg.

It was to be another explosive opening with Hanna boxing cleverly against a tough opponent to score well and move well. A standing eight count for the Azerbaijani confirmed the first round headed home with Hanna.

The second round proved to be a masterclass in drawing your opponent out and countering superbly, as Holden used her strength and accuracy to score throughout the round.

The final round followed the same pattern, as Holden guaranteed herself at least a bronze medal via a convincing unanimous decision.

England’s next representative was Luke Moore as he faced Lukian Sliepchenko of Ukraine at Under 60kg.

The first round was to be less explosive than the previous bouts, as a cagey opening went in favour of the Ukrainian.

After a setback in the first, the Henry’s Gym schoolboy began to apply sustained pressure and landed some good two-punch combinations to bring home the second.

With it all on the line in the third, Luke consistently landed the jab and followed it up with a powerful backhand to take a unanimous decision victory via a very mature performance.

Finishing up a simply incredible day of boxing for the Wolf Pack was William Loveridge, as he boxed Ireland’s Darragh Ryan for a place in the Under 63kg semi-final.

The English southpaw looked composed and was crisp with his movement and with his landing as he cruised the first two rounds.

With the Irishman desperate in the third, the Sporting Ring boxer showed absolute composure and landed a standout three-punch combination to secure a unanimous point decision victory, a guaranteed bronze and a place in the semis.

Day Seven Schedule: