Tom Tregay writes about the University’s Boxing Club, and their recent success at the BUCS Boxing Championships in Stoke-on-Trent.
It was a very successful BUCS for the Essex University Boxing Club, which saw them take two golds and three silvers, with each of their fighters that competed earning themselves a medal. This made it one of the most successful BUCS’ for the club, and has additionally made them one of the University’s most successful clubs to compete at BUCS in recent years as far as individual sports are concerned.
Six of the boxing club members (five being students at Essex University) made the journey to Stoke-on-Trent to compete in the three-day competition against other boxers from Universities around Britain. However, only five were able to compete once there. Eliandro Goncalves, who was victorious for the University at last year’s derby day fights at the UEA, was unfortunately unable to compete. Many of the competitors in his 81kg weight category had either pulled out or moved up a weight, leaving the weight category without enough competition for Goncalves.
“This made it one of the most successful BUCS’ for the club, and has additionally made them one of the University’s most successful clubs to compete at BUCS in recent years as far as individual sports are concerned.”
For the other five boxers for Essex, it was a rather successful event for each, and for the club as a whole. In the 52kg final, Eric Lui put on a determined and tough display against an opponent around a foot taller with a far longer reach. After a difficult first two rounds for Eric, with his opponent using his size and reach over him to his advantage, he went out in the third with a fine performance, hurting his opponent badly in the process. Regardless, Liverpool’s Jess McCarthy came out victorious on a points victory. Lui left with a silver medal in the 52kg, and was credited for his bravery against the larger opponent.
Following successful recent performances under the Blades’ banner, James Abiwon entered the BUCS Boxing Championships with much promise of delivering more solid displays of boxing. This was apparent in the quarter-final against Hertfordshire’s James Nook. Abiwon was able to dominate and overwhelm his opponent with crisp accurate punching, allowing him to see his hand raised at the end of the bout. The semi final bout was equally as successful for Abiwon, who after landing a number of powerful punches on UCL’s Pardis Zalmay in last round, was given the verdict with the help of a standing eight count for his opponent. Unfortunately for James, the final was tough. Northumbria University’s Robert Lock did not allow James to let off any of his shots and box his style. With tight, compact and skillful boxing from his opponent, James was given the silver medal in an overall well fought competition.
Essex’s third silver medal came from welterweight (69kg) Reese Wade. After dominating and resultantly winning his semi-final fight with a disciplined and controlled display of boxing, Wade guaranteed himself a medal. His opponent in the final, Liverpool’s Rotunda ABC boxer Ivan Duniak, who had beat the previous BUCS Boxing champion, was a favourite entering the tournament. However, at the end of the fight, Reese had appeared to have done enough to win the gold from being the more active and effective boxer in the third and final round, and was able to land brilliant shots to both the head and body of his opponent. Regardless, the judges awarded Liverpool’s Duniak the victory. Reese was extremely unlucky not to emerge with the gold, but left the tournament having showcased his skilled boxing and class.
Essex University’s gold medal at the BUCS Boxing Championships came through middleweight (75kg) fighter Wasim Rach. It was a shaky start to his competition after being hurt from a big right hand from Northumbria’s Ethan Taylor, forcing Rach into desperation during the round. However, it was with great fitness, determination and skill that Rach was able to emerge victorious after winning the second and third round. Wasim’s final against Warwick’s Tier Blundell went far more smoothly, and was able to avoid any serious punishment contrary to his first fight by keeping his opponent on the back foot. From using his skilled boxing with great application, a jubilant Rach saw his hand raised at the end of the fight with a unanimous points decision victory to win the gold.
A gold medal was also earned from Writtle College student Sheena Nobili in the lightweight category (60kg). Nobili, who trains with the boxers at Essex under Gordon Charlesworth, had an emphatic final performance. Using and imposing her strength over Hertfordshire’s Jessica Jellicoe, Sheena was able to pick her opponent off with powerful and accurate shots. Following a successful first round, which included forcing her opponent to take a standing eight-count on two occasions, Nobili went into the second round continuing to impose herself over her opponent. Her performance over her opponent lead to the referee to stop the fight, awarding Nobili with an excellent stoppage victory in the second round – a fantastic overall competition that fully deserved a gold medal at the end.
“From using his skilled boxing with great application, a jubilant Rach saw his hand raised at the end of the fight with a unanimous points decision victory to win the gold.”
As an overall performance, the club was incredibly impressive, with each fighter showing their class and ability under the training of Gordon Charlesworth, aided by Sean White in the corner who supported each fighter throughout the competition. Now currently the Universities most successful club for individual sports, the boxing club has a promising future ahead of it, and can look forward to future competitions. The club can also look forwards to competing the UEA at Derby Day in April, as they aim to turn the defeat against our rivals into victory.