Frustrating double for MBBC finalists
MBBC had a frustrating day at the Junior National AIBA Finals in Liverpool after Jess Zolasko and Tommy Healy suffered two controversial defeats in fights it seemed they had won.
The standard of boxing was exceptional as the best in the country were set to pit their skills in the ring against each other, so for the Macc boxers to be there was already a massive achievement.
MBBC’s first finalist of the day was Jess Zolasko, who was so switched on and ready to give her best against a very experienced strong girl from West Ham Boxing Club, as she fought European champion Caroline Dubois, the sister of professional boxer Daniel Dubois.
Round one saw Zolasko set a fast pace, taking it to the Londoner and putting pressure on her, which proved beneficial as Dubois was not comfortable with it.
Zolasko had success catching her opponent with good shots and Dubois looked to the referee as she complained her head guard had moved, allowing time to get her breath back, which was a clever move from an experienced kid.
Dubois was strong and when she did catch Zolasko towards the end of the round, they looked to be hard shots.
The instruction for Zolasko in between rounds was to keep pushing on as it was working, so again Zolasko threw strong straight shots catching Dubois and putting her under pressure.
Dubois was still coming back with strong shots but as soon as the pressure got too much she pulled the head guard trick again, the second time in as many rounds so this time the referee told her this was the last time.
Zolasko was now tiring having put everything into the first two as she took in deep breaths before going out for round three.
Dubois had nothing to lose so came out all guns blazing. Zolasko looked to have slowed the pace down yet was still having success, but as they came together Zolasko took a clean shot from Dubois and the referee decided it warranted an eight count, which was frustrating especially as Zolasko had caught Dubois with stronger, cleaner shots and the referee had let them go.
With only a few seconds left of the round they came together again with Zolasko’s defence impeccable, yet out of nowhere the referee counted eight again then proceeded to stop the contest.
The coaches in the corner were gutted with only a few seconds left, as Zolasko had put everything into the contest and although she’d tired in the third she was not under any threat or looked to be in trouble.
A magnificent display from the young MBBC girl was met with a lot of support even if the end was questionable, but she still managed to pick up the silver medal in the junior female under 60kg.
Next up was young Tommy Healy, hoping to avenge the poor decision from the week before against James Metcalfe, the same kid he met in the Three Nations final over in Rotherham.
Healy was chomping at the bit to put the score right as he felt he’d been robbed the week before and as the bell rang Metcalfe came forward allowing Healy to catch him with his right hook every time.
Healy even got some great punches off at close quarters too as Metcalfe was pushing on, but Healy was clearly catching with more shots on target, just like the weekend before.
Round one looked to be in the bag, with round two starting with Healy continuing to catch at will, moving well on his feet and hitting his target with ease.
Healy came back from round two and felt he’d already done enough, but the coaches still encouraged him to go out there and carry on as he were.
Although Healy took his foot off the pedal in the third, he still caught his opponent with the cleaner shots and looked to have nailed it. As the bell rang Healy showed his emotions as he felt he’d reversed the outcome from the previous week.
It wasn’t to be though, as somehow the decision came back again in favour of Metcalfe, leaving Healy mortified and the coaches had no explanation for the result as they believed Healy had done more than enough.
Healy was upset and disappointed with the decision after his chance of raising the champion’s belt taken away from him after an excellent performance but being the mature boxer that he is he took it on the chin like a man and congratulated his opponent.
All in all a frustrating day for both MBBC boxers, but the fact they had got to the final was a massive achievement and the experience gained in such a contest can only benefit them both in the long run.