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ABAE National Female Championships 2010
By Mike O’Neill
June 5, 2010
Photo: Amanda Coulson


Sunday 6th June sees the Finals day in the ABAE National Female Championships 2010 and if last Saturday’s Semi Finals were anything to go by, all who make the journey to the South Coast, will enjoy a great days boxing at Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Centre in Alexandra Park. The introduction of women’s boxing to the 2012 London Olympic Games has already seen a strong growth in the number of women partaking in the sport as Rebecca Gibson, the ABAE of England Development Manager explains:

“ In 2005, the ABAE had 50 registered female members. This figure has now grown to 868 and more clubs are beginning to open their doors and provide opportunities for women and girls. The profile for women’s boxing has very much been enhanced since the I.O.C approved three events to be included in London ”.

In last Saturday’s main bouts, at 51kgs, in an ‘ all action’ contest , Chadwell St Mary’s Nina Smith overcame a strong challenge from Chloe Fairhead of Swales Gloves, whilst at the 54kgs weight class, Leah Flintham of the Haringey Police club outscored the Army’s Tina Evans after a fiercely competitive 4 rounds. In the semi finals of the 60 kgs division, long dominated on the world scene by Ireland’s Katie Taylor, we saw two fine contests – Natasha Jonas (Rotunda) was almost back to her best as she was far too strong for Newdigate’s Samantha Batty whilst that doughty fighter Rebecca Donnelly called upon all her resources to outlast Ruth Raper, the young 19 years old from Lynn. Ruth most certainly is one to keep an eye on for the future.

Still a long way to go before London 2012 – indeed the only qualifying tournament for the women’s events will be the 2012 World Championships in May of that year. Rebecca Gibson again: “Women who qualify can now compete at 51kgs, 60kgs and 75 kgs though another 7 non-Olympic weights remain in the International competitions .This has unlocked the opportunity and funding from UK Sport for a GB Women’s World Class programme which is currently supporting 7 boxers”.

Others will have the opportunity of joining this elite squad if their results in 2010/2011 warrant inclusion but for now the seven are undergoing extensive training at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield . "We have conducted a long and extensive assessment process and I am confident we have identified the best individuals with the most medal potential," said Performance Director, Rob McCracken.
"All seven women have done brilliantly to be selected from such a strong pool of talent but the challenge now is to improve and move on to the next level.

"This is not a closed shop and all of the squad need to work hard and keep improving to maintain their place. Those that missed out on selection can still come into consideration for 2012 if they train hard and do well in competitions over the next 12 months."

The members of the squad are:

51Kg, Flyweight
Nicola Adams, 27, Haringey Police Community Club
Lucy O'Connor, 31, Royal Navy Boxing Team, Portsmouth
Nina Smith, 27, Chadwell St Mary ABC, Grays, Essex

60Kg, Lightweight
Amanda Coulson, 27, Hartlepool Catholic Boxing Club, Hartlepool
Natasha Jonas, 25, Rotunda ABC, Liverpool
Ruth Raper, 19, Haringey Police Community Club, and Lynn ABC.

75Kg, Middleweight
Savannah Marshall, 18, Hartlepool Headland ABC, Hartlepool

Well worth visiting Portsmouth this weekend for the Finals. The Novices,Schools and Junior finals take place on Saturday 5th from 13.00 whilst on Sunday 6th the Senior Finals take place,again from 13.00. On both days tickets “on the door” at UK £5 (under 16) and UK£10 adult

Sunday’s most eagerly awaited fights include
finals at :

51kgs: Nina Smith (Chadwell St Marys, ) v Sharon Holford (Aspire)

54kgs: Leah Flintham (Haringey Police) v Lauren West (Ernie Oxers)

57kgs: Hayley Webb (Police Boxing Association) v Lisa Gibbons (Larches & Savick)

60kgs: Rebecca Donnelly (Gravesham) v Natasha Jonas (Rotunda)

63kgs: Alanna Murphy (Army) v Chantelle Cameron (Kings Heath)

Mike O'Neill

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