Navy charge comes up just short

Jack Bishop

Boxing mourns legendary figure

  • Army lift Inter-Services Championships crown
  • Navy push rivals all the way
  • Coach lauds his boxers’ effort on exciting night of action
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THE ROYAL NAVY’S hunt for Inter Services Championship victory continues.

It became 31 years of boxing hurt for the senior service as the army ran out winners at HMS Nelson last night.

Navy boxer Luke Fisher, blue, beats army counterpart Oliver Knight    Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Navy boxer Luke Fisher, blue, beats army counterpart Oliver Knight Picture: Ian Hargreaves

But that didn’t tell the story of a night of explosive contests which saw the navy shine.

Graham Alderson’s squad went down to a 5-3 defeat with the Royal Air Force picking up a point.

The destination of the noble statuette remained in the balance for much of the night at a packed navy gymnasium.

Wins for Luke Fisher (64kg), Aaren Meder (69kg) and a gutsy Ben Jones (81kg) effort ensured that was the case.

I’m really proud of what the boys have done

Graham Alderson

But success for Chezerare Nihell over Kallum Radley at 91kg, in a contest Alderson felt could easily have gone the other way, tipped the favour in the army’s balance.

In the end, the army’s 1-0 headstart through a walkover did not have an impact on the result, as super-heavyweight Natty Ngwenya unanimously outpointed James Taylor.

Alderson knew many of his boxers were giving away experience to powerful opposition.

But he felt proud of what they achieved against them

Alderson said: ‘I’ve got a great set of lads there.

‘We’ve lost three on the night and the army obviously have numbers on us.

‘I’ve put in three kids who have had in and around 10 bouts – but they all did well and didn’t struggle at all.

‘I thought my 91kg kid was a bit unlucky.

‘He lost on a split decision and, on any other day he would have got it.

‘To do that in his 12th bout to an ABA semi-finalist was an achievement.

‘I’m really proud of what the boys have done.’

The army’s Ryan Fillingham picked up boxer of the night on the way to a stoppage of Lewis Dugan at 60kg.

But then the navy charge really got firing as Fisher outpointed Oliver Knight in a chess match of a contest.

That went up a gear as a ferocious display saw Meder stop Peter Nevison, as he was given three counts in the second.

Jones then served up the round of the night in the third with the army’s Chris Flynn in a battle which had a raucous crowd on its feet.

Ricki Lyon (56kg) delivered the RAF’s single win with navy pair Callum Lynn and Joe Pomfrey shining with victorious special bouts.

Alderson said: ‘We had some good wins on the night.

‘Luke Fisher is a young able seaman.

‘He boxed that kid back in December and the other lad won convincingly.

‘I think he was expecting the same lad to turn up, but the Luke Fisher in there is bit more of a man and a bit more mature. I thought he took the decision quite well.

‘Meder was very unlucky last year. He didn’t get the rub of the green.

‘He came back and is a very strong, quick fella and he did the business for us. He totally dominated that fight.

‘Jones wears his heart on his sleeve and loves a tear-up.

‘To be fair the army boxer, Chris Flynn, is a big strong lad and pulled him into a bit of a scrap.

‘The cleaner work came from Ben in the end with cleaner shots.

‘They all performed.’