Francois targets Haringey Cup gold to boost international claims

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Conor Chaplins 94th-minute winner earned Pompey three hard-earned points from their visit to Stadium MK Picture: Joe Pepler

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Jonathan Francois is targeting gold at the Haringey Cup as he looks to boost his claims for international honours.

The highly-talented boxer, who is a member of the newly-named Gym01 ABC squad, has impressed in recent outings in Portsmouth and on tour with his club in the United States.

He’s only ever had his colours lowered twice and goes to Haringey as a big favourite in the eyes of his coach Wayne Kong-Gardiner.

The merger of Portsmouth ABC and Gym01 mixed martial arts has been a big boost to the boxers.

It’s ensured the University of Portsmouth club have a fantastic environment for training.

Francois will be fighting at 71kg and a win could help propel him to achieve his ambition of joining the Grenada national squad.

He is expected to start his campaign on Thursday when the draw is made after the weigh-in from 10am to midday.

‘Jonathan is a class above the rest,’ said Kong-Gardiner.

‘I expect gold from him – it would take someone very special to beat him in his category.

‘Jonathan is currently under consideration for getting on the Grenada national team.’

Ellis Booth will be going into battle in the 57kg female open class. She also has ambitions to make the England squad and the Haringey Cup stage is the perfect launch pad.

But she will have Jamaican number one Sarah-Joy Rae in her way.

Kong-Gardiner said: ‘Ellis is also under the scope for national honours.

‘She impressed at the southern England selection trials and is going into the Haringey Cup to show selectors she would be the right choice.

‘Her opponent was a world championship quarter-finalist in 2012 and taking this victory will be a massive feather in Ellis’ cap.’

Other Gym01 ABC fighters in action include British Universities champion Aron Ahluwalia at 67kg and Helen Tamlyn in the 64kg female class B.

Spanish fighter Mario Oliveras, who has been with the club for three years, goes at 71kg.

A host of other local boxers are also involved in the Haringey Cup.

John Weeks goes into action for Copnor ABC with the 19-year-old boxing at 86kg.

Gosport send in their fab four as Ricky Pipe, Harvey Blair, Ryan Morgan and Robin Chinembiri all aim to impress.

And Heart of Portsmouth also have a quartet gunning for success with Biola Kudus, Leeann Bourne, Ahmed Adenis and Binashi Rashid all involved.