RIS­ING POW­ERS

GB box­ers in new weight classes win gold in Turkey, writes John Den­nen

Boxing News - - Amateurs -

GREAT BRI­TAIN took a strong team to the Ah­met Comert Tour­na­ment in Is­tan­bul, Turkey and fin­ished with five gold medal­lists on Septem­ber 15.

Two GB box­ers, Niall Far­rell and Ben Whit­taker, have moved up to new weight di­vi­sions, 57 kgs and 81 kgs, and both se­cured gold af­ter four vic­to­ries each in Turkey. Far­rell met Aus­tralia’s Jack Bowen

and out­pointed him to take a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion win. Whit­taker took on the host coun­try’s Bayram Malkam in the light-heavy­weight fi­nal and sim­i­larly took a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

Welsh wel­ter­weight Rosie Ec­cles, who im­pressed in the Com­mon­wealth Games ear­lier this year, main­tained that form to win gold at the Ah­met Comert Sports Hall. She unan­i­mously outscored Aus­tralian Kaye Scott in their 69 kgs fi­nal.

“Very happy to say that in my first tour­na­ment rep­re­sent­ing Wales with Team GB I’ll be bring­ing home the gold from Turkey, beat­ing Nor­way, Rus­sia, then Aus­tralia in the fi­nal to­day. Only just get­ting back into things, so felt good to be box­ing bet­ter with ev­ery fight. Good start in the lead-up to the Worlds later this year. Thank you ev­ery­one who has shown me so much sup­port, es­pe­cially lately. Team ef­fort as al­ways. On­wards and up­wards,” Ec­cles said.

Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed won the 49 kgs fi­nal in­side the dis­tance. Open­ing his tour­na­ment with a split de­ci­sion over Turkey’s Ra­mazan Ozbag­danli, Ahmed went straight on to the fi­nal to box an­other Turk­ish boxer, M. Taha Kacar,

whom Aqeel halted in­side the sec­ond round.

There was a strong show­ing for Sh­effield City light-wel­ter­weight Dal­ton Smith, who boxed four times, win­ning all those con­tests and tak­ing the gold medal in his fi­nal bout, scor­ing a split de­ci­sion vic­tory over Turkey’s Muham­met Gul­tekin.

“Gold is com­ing home. Beat the num­ber one Turk in the fi­nal to­day in his back yard who beat the Euro­pean cham­pion yes­ter­day. Had four fights in four days against tough op­po­si­tion,” a rightly pleased Dal­ton Smith said.

GB also had two medal­lists in box­ers who have risen through the Podium Po­ten­tial squad. Af­ter two vic­to­ries, heavy­weight Lewis Wil­liams boxed Ar­me­nia’s Narek Manasyan in the fi­nal but lost a split de­ci­sion. Tal­ented young wel­ter­weight Har­ris Ak­bar won three times on his way to the 69 kgs fi­nal but was edged out on a split de­ci­sion by Turkey’s Ne­cat Ek­inci.

“Un­for­tu­nately I didn’t get the de­ci­sion I wanted in the fi­nals yes­ter­day, came back with a sil­ver medal los­ing out to a tricky Turk­ish lad in his home yard,” Har­ris said. “But it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and I’m go­ing back to the draw­ing board. I’m go­ing to be back out again next month box­ing in a tour­na­ment in Be­larus and there you can count that I’m go­ing to be bring­ing back the medal I de­serve.”

For the first time a So­ma­lian team com­peted in in­ter­na­tional box­ing, or­gan­ised by Lon­don­based Ramla Ali. She boxed Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list Skye Ni­col­son, who edged out Ramla on a split de­ci­sion. So­ma­lian mid­dleweight Ahmed

Adan Mo­hamed also en­tered the tour­na­ment, los­ing to GB’S Carl Fail on a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

GOLD RUSH: Far­rell takes the de­ci­sion over Bowen in the nal

ON THE MOVE: Whit­taker beats Malkam at light-heavy

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