Youth Worlds 2022: day two round-up

November 16, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


Team England secured three victories from four bouts on day two of the IBA Youth World Championships 2022 – but European champion Owen Ketley bowed out.

First up for the Three Lions third on in the morning session was European silver medallist Lauren Mackie (pictured below), who took on Korea’s Ye Jin Oh at Under 52kg.

The Burton Park boxer ran out by what was, in the end, a comfortable unanimous margin, but the bout itself was anything but.

She lost the first round 4-1, but ,while there was a corner reset ahead of the second round, there was no panic.

Mackie stormed back to win the second round unanimously as she began to find her range, leaving the bout in the balance.

And though her tiring opponent tried to hold and break up her rhythm in the third, there was no stopping the Midlands boxer in the last as she as she grew in confidence, recording three 10-8 rounds and also winning 10-9  with the other two judges.

Having impressively bounced back, she eventually ran out a 29-27, 29-28, 30-26, 29-27, 29-28 winner.

The afternoon session saw European champion Emily Whitworth (pictured top) begin her campaign and she was rarely troubled in a straightforward victory over Panama’s Xiomara Santamaria (Panama).

The People’s Gym boxer showed poise, neat footwork and punching power to bag the first two rounds across the board.

And it was one-way traffic again in the third as she wrapped up a 30-27, 30-26, 30-27, 30-26, 30-27 success.

England’s other boxer in the middle session, Nelson Birchall (pictured above), was just as in control, if not even more so, of his Under 60kg contest.

His head and foot movement and huge variety of punches kept Japan’s Shori Sakumoto (Japan) guessing throughout their encounter on his way to an emphatic 30-24, 30-27, 30-24, 30-26, 30-25 triumph.

Southpaw Birchall jabbed well early on to help open the path for his bigger, more eye-catching punches, winning the first unanimously, including by 10-8 in three cases.

It was exactly the same story and score in the second round as the Japanese boxer was frequently caught on the wrong end of exchanges.

Despite a handsome lead, there was not let-up from Jennings Gym’s Birchall in the last, making sure there were no mistakes en route to booking his place in the next round.

Last to go was Ketley with his second bout in as many days at Under 54kg, this time against Germany’s Denis Bril, a boxer he defeated at the Europeans in April.

Facing a taller opponent, southpaw Ketley did well to quickly find his range and score with some slick combinations, taking the opening round 4-1.

But the second round was a scrappy affair with the referee having to intervene on countless occasions and it was Brill who edged it 3-2 to leave all to play for going into the last.

An even third round, with both boxers enjoying their moments, was close to call, but the judges ruled in favour of the man from Germany, handing the Three Lions their first setback of the tournament so far.

The closeness of the bout was reflected in the 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 scoreline.

Three England boxers are in action on day three, all in the male section.

Day three England bouts

Session 2

Ring A, bout 7: Under 67kg – Munkhtulga Tsendbayar (Mongolia) v Levi Barnes.

Session 3

Ring B, bout 3: Under 63.5kg – Conor McCrory (Ireland) v Osama Mohammed.

Ring A, bout 10: Over 92kg – Djelon Januzaj (Slovenia) v Enriko Itauma.