Mehmood and Dossen excel at Eindhoven Box Cup
HAMZA MEHMOOD, only 19 years old, has already become an Elite national champion at the first attempt and last weekend made the amateur boxing world take notice with a masterful showing over three days, October 12-14, claiming the gold medal at the Eindhoven Box Cup in the Netherlands. 23 nations brought quality boxers including Mongolia.
Hoddesdon entered a team of four but bantamweight Nico Leviars succumbed to a chest infection and pulled out at the last minute. Flyweight Hamza began his campaign against German national champion Tarik Ibrahim. Always a slow starter, Hamza took a few minutes to find his rhythm and range before producing sublime hand speed to catch the advancing German boxer repeatedly with back hands forcing Ibrahim to hold on. Sensing victory Hamza eased off in the final round as his toughest challenge awaited him in the semifinals.
Damdindurj Munkh-erdene, a current, hard-hitting Mongolian champion, stood between Hamza and his place in the final. On this occasion the Hoddesdon boxer started fast, probing and poking the jab at range before unleashing clusters of three or four punches. Mehmood’s footwork and delivery of shots left the Mongolian flatfooted and off the pace. What looked like a comprehensive win came back as a 4-1 judges points win to see Hamza into the final.
There he met another Mongolian, the strong, orthodox Mungun Erdene Gandulan. The neutral crowd were in for a treat as Mungun backed Hamza on to the ropes but before throwing any telling punches he was met with fast salvos and changes of angle, which left the Mongolian punching fresh air. The crowed loved the intense chess match that was unfolding and as the Mongolian connected, Hamza would have the last of the exchanges.
Mungun started bulldozing forward and penetrating Hamza’s defence with jabs and hooks. Mehmood was unfazed and would stay in the pocket, tucking up with his elbows and throwing bent arm combinations to body and head, backing the Mongolian into the ropes to finish the stronger of the two at the end of the second round. The third was fast and frantic but Mehmood just oozed confidence. Taking everything on his arms before firing back and beginning to enjoy himself. At the bell the formality became reality as a 4-1 decision in favour of Hoddesdon’s Hamza Mehmood inflicted a defeat on his world class opponent, one of the best results ever produced by the club. “Of all the years that I have coached that is up there as one of the best performances from a boxer representing our club. He boxed to instruction over three days and we couldn’t be any prouder,” said head coach Sab Leo.
IRELAND’S Gabriel Dossen secured a gold medal as he works his way towards a spot on the national team. He beat Beijing Olympian Herry Saliku Biembe of Switzerland, English rival Ramtin Musah and then in the final outscored the Netherlands’ top 75kgs Max Van Der Pas on a split decision. “Gabriel pulled out all the stops again today with a near perfect performance, said coach Mike Mongan. “Gabriel commanded the lead from round one, making use of his jab and speed. From there he took off really against an experienced Dutch international.”
MEHMOOD PUT IN A MASTERFUL SHOWING AT EINDHOVEN
ONES TO WATCH: Dossen [second on right] and Mehmood impress