Hearts of gold

Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

Birmingham wins Irish friends as he eyes future title

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Heart of Portsmouth delivered a gold rush at the Haringey Cup.

The city outfit collected three golds and a silver medal at the prestigious end-of-season competition.

Biola Kudus, Kieran Rodden and Tanya Bower went all the way for their club.

And there was a silver medal for young hopeful Connor Jepson at Alexandra Palace in London.

Kudus was a knockout sensation as he delivered two quick stoppages on the way to his title.

The cruiserweight took less than 30 seconds to dismantle New Addington’s Sean Williams.

A solid rear hand brought a count and a three-punch combination then brought the contest to a close.

Kudus was in dominant form in the final as he met Edmonton Eagles’ Aaron Gribbon.

The powerhouse was in the ascendancy from the outset, with the clash coming to a close in the third with a concussive short rear hand flooring Gribben.

Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) newcomer Bowyer continued the winning run as she met Finchley’s Elena Ivanova in her final.

A frenetic bout saw Bowyer’s superior stamina and ability to finish each round stronger ensure she took victory.

Impressive wins were delivered by Rodden to take the 2012 title.

Rumbles Boxing Academy’s Matthew Avis was overcome in the semi-final, with Rodden displaying a classy range of skills to get a unanimous win.

Chelmsford’s David Moore proved a tough opponent in the final, but Rodden dug deep to do enough in an all-action clash.

Jepson delivered a gritty display against Repton’s Jordan Blake.

The youngster produced fleet-footed attacks and came forward constantly, but it was Blake who got the verdict – meaning Jepson came away with the silver medal.

Only a controversial decision stopped there being more success for HOP in other contests.

Previous Haringey Cup winner Leeann Bourne put in a hard-working display and could count herself unfortunate to go out of the tournament to Holyrood’s Louise Mitchell this time around.

There was disappointment, too, as ABA finalist Greg Bridet was handed a controversial points loss as he met Southend’s Gary Daley.

Bridet comprehensively defeated Daley on the way to the final of the ABAs at Bethnal Green earlier this year.

It looked as if the Portsmouth man had produced a repeat of that last meeting but the decision went the other way, to the surprise of those who witnessed the contest.

Another new face in Mateusz Najberg met West Ham’s experienced Ronnie Nakwaze.

That proved to be an exciting four rounds of action, with Nakwaze getting the points decision.

Last year’s silver medallist Terry Singh came up just short in a tight contest, as his opponent Umar Khawaja, from Dale Youth, came out on top.

HOP coach Q Shillingford said: ‘All of our boxers put in top-rate performances for the club, Portsmouth, Hampshire and southern counties.

‘We were very disappointed with the Greg Bridet decision, but he will take it on the chin and bounce back next season.

‘It has been a great Haringey Cup for us – all of the boxers and coaches have enjoyed themselves.’