Youngsters star on American trip

Portsmouth ABC members - from left - Darren Green (coach), Danny Green, Jonathan Francois, Ellis Booth and Wayne Kong-Gardiner (coach) meet world champion Adrien Broner (third left)

Portsmouth ABC members - from left - Darren Green (coach), Danny Green, Jonathan Francois, Ellis Booth and Wayne Kong-Gardiner (coach) meet world champion Adrien Broner (third left)

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Portsmouth ABC boxers underlined their abilities as they excelled on a recent trip to America.

In an ongoing exchange programme between Portsmouth and Georgetown University in Washington DC, the home fighters were celebrating a successful trip across the pond with a flurry of victories over their US-based counterparts at a special event.

But not only did Portsmouth deliver with their displays in the ring, they also enjoyed the bonus of a chance meeting with current world champions Adrien Broner and Lamont Peterson on their visit.

Six Portsmouth boxers and two Brighton University fighters made the trip, with five of them picking up wins.

Unfortunately, Ellis Booth was unable to fight after her opponent missed the weight limit.

But she benefited from some sparring sessions at the world-famous Headbangers Gym where Broner and Peterson just happened to stroll in during the session to chat with all of the boxers and pass on some sound advice.

Aron Ahuwalis, Helen Tamlyn, Danny Green, Dale Telford and Jonathan Francois all recorded victories on points with impressive performances.

Only Jamie Marshall – who had bravely battled his way back to fitness after a recent ankle injury – and Connor Stuart were edged out on decisions.

The trip consisted of two training sessions every day, with 6.30am starts, and evening gym work to prepare the fighters for their bouts against opponents from all over the USA.

But the real test was in front of a capacity 300 crowd where each of the Brits applied themselves in style.

The stand-out performance of the event came from Francois who faced the undefeated National Collegiate champion Courtney Jackson from Miami, who had an unblemished nine-fight record.

But Francois showed his slick head movement, fast feet and hands to outscore his powerful opponent to spring a major upset and boost his hopes of success at next month’s Haringey Cup.

Organiser and Portsmouth ABC coach, Wayne Kong-Gardiner, said: ‘A massive thanks must go out to my American opposite number Mr Luke Runion.

‘We’ve had this exchange in place for the past three years and it seems to be getting stronger and stronger.

‘We look forward to hosting the USA Collegiate Teams in 2014.’

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