Boxers show Heart in season opener

Heart of Portsmouth's Billy Cable
Heart of Portsmouth's Billy Cable
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Heart of Portsmouth got off to a barnstorming start at their first show of the campaign.

The Charter Sports Centre event saw a packed bill, with the host club racking up the wins in front of a healthy crowd.

Southern Counties champion Biola Kudus took centre stage as he took on an old foe in the shape of Moulscombe ABC’s Ed Lawrence.

Kudus held a narrow victory over Lawrence in the ABA Championships last season, with his opponent’s team feeling their man was hard done by.

But there were fewer questions this time around as Kudus picked up a decisive victory.

His rangy skills were used to good effect, with some fast hands and combinations working well as he grabbed success.

That was just one of a number of victories as the club’s talent shone.

Oliver Fenton was a unanimous winner as he picked up a decision over Shepton Mallet’s Tyler Kelly.

It was a similar story for Harry Brown as he went up against Bognor’s Freddie Hayes.

Hayes gave the HOP boxer plenty to think about but it was Brown who used his skills at range to get the unanimous verdict.

Billy Cable had too much fire-power for Dennis Hayes in three rounds of explosive action, with the former getting the unanimous points win.

HOP’s Will Peach and Liam Kimber refused to give an inch as they went up against each other. In a crowd-pleasing clash, it was Peach who got the majority decision.

A derby between HOP’s Walid Adenas and Team Wiseman’s Amir Mohammed did not disappoint, with both boxers landing fast and hurtful blows.

But it was Adenas who got the unanimous success after three rounds of action which started at a furious pace.

Basingstoke’s Will Nimako gave HOP’s Ryan Cayford a decent challenge but it was the latter who unanimously came out on top over three rounds.

Joe Coultas, Jack Fenton and Tyler Hall all put on good displays for HOP but saw majority decisions go against them.

Molly Cooper shone in her skills bout with Bath City’s Ruby Hanson, which entertained the crowd.

HOP’s junior boxer head coach, Paul Kapnisi, was pleased with the start to the season.

He said: ‘I am delighted to get our boxers out so early in the season, so they are ready for the forthcoming championships.

‘An early bout in the season allows the coaches to see where the boxer is in preparation for the championships ahead.

‘A big thank you must go to the HOP coaches and volunteers who did a great job in setting up the show from start to finish.’

Meanwhile, Junior ABA champ Ben Bendle has received an England call-up to kick-start his season.

Bendle will travel to the England Institute of Sport in Sheffield on October 11, where he will get the chance to impress national coaches.

The HOP powerhouse will then attend another England talent squad camp at the end of next month.

Locally-based south of England coach Mick Gannon will run the rule over the squad, alongside his north of England colleague Martin Utley.