An excellent two days boxing at the 2011 English Elite Female
Championships in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (population
67,500),close to Sherwood Forest saw Hartlepool Catholic club
boxer Amanda Coulson win her fourth 60kg title with a convincing
21:14 win over Lynn BC’s Ruth Raper on Sunday.
Both Coulson and Raper are members of the GB Boxing’s Olympic
Podium squad at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Also fighting for the GB Olympic spot at 60kg are European Union
gold medallist (at 64kg), Rotunda, Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas and
the young 19 years old former kick boxing champion
from Northampton, Chantelle Cameron. At this moment Jonas (who
defeated Coulson at the 2010 GB Championships in Cardiff) may be
slight favourite but Cameron, in particular, and Raper are fast
learners and Coulson, the ‘veteran’ of the quartet at 28 can
never be discounted.
60kg final between Amanda
Coulson and Ruth Raper
A great servant of British boxing , Coulson is fighting as well
as ever as that thrilling Cardiff bout showed. As a 14 years
old,her first major task was finding a club. After receiving
several knockbacks from gyms that did not take women, she
finally found a club that would take her - Hartlepool Catholic
Boxing Club. The club soon dropped the "Boys" tag from its name!
"People were a bit sceptical at first but they soon realised I
was dedicated, I put my heart and soul into it, I was training
all hours and once they'd seen me box they soon realised that" .
In a long and distinguished career she has won Gold
Medal at The Prime Ministry Tournament, another Gold in the
Crete tournament in 2010, been three times a silver medallist in
European championships and now champion of her native England
Amanda trains in Sheffield four times a week with the GB Boxing
squad. Her focus is 100 per cent on preparing for the London
Her dream? "Nothing can compare with standing on the Olympic
rostrum with your national anthem playing and getting to do this
in front of a home crowd would be a once in a life time
Another of GB Boxing’s podium squad is Chadwell St Mary’s 51kg
Nina Smith. The 27 years old from Grays, Essex, defeated highly
talented Talia Anthony of the Chadd ABC, Derbyshire 27:9 in the
final, winning every round. That said it was a brave
performance from Talia who gave her all but the vastly more
Smith was a deserving winner and did her own chances (of
representing GB in London) no harm.Standing in her way of course
is one Nikki Adams, recent European Union Gold medal winner in
Katowice . A long way to go yet before the final choice is made
but here Adams must rate as favourite and would
Be one of GB’s best hopes of a medal in London. Nonetheless
Nina's coaches Chris Okoh and Scot Johnston were delighted with
her performance in the ABAE final. And rightly so.
The 64kg title went to Alanna Murphy, the 25 years old Irish
representative at the 2010 World Championships in Barbados. She
gained a hard fought 12-8 victory over Suzanne Hemsley who boxes
out of the Huthwaite ABC , is the ABAE’s Development officer for
Derbyshire and a two time ABAE champion.
Murphy, is like Coulson, a veteran of many campaigns in Britain
and in Ireland. Indeed she took part as a 16 years old in
Ireland’s first ever licensed (IABA) female fight in Dublin’s
National Stadium against an even younger 15 years old schoolgirl
Murphy lost 23:12 that night in October 2001 but shrewd
observers of the ‘noble Art’ predicted a great future for both
contestants, albeit with the proviso ‘if ever women’s boxing
‘took off’ in Ireland. Well Murphy has won championships in both
countries plus a European silver medal whilst the 15 years old
has not done badly either – indeed Three World, four European
Union, four European Elite titles later, Katie Taylor has proved
herself to be one of Ireland’s outstanding boxers, male or
female and the country’s best hope for London 2012.
In the writer’s opinion, this was the best organised ABAE Female
championships in recent years , held in front of a highly
enthusiastic ,capacity crowd on both days. A new innovation,
much appreciated by boxing fans throughout the country was an
‘immediate’ ABAE- produced “results” service via
Twitter. This also gave family and friends, as well as fans
throughout the land, who were unable to attend “up to the
minute” news, be it good or bad, depending on the outcome.
Senior Championships – Finals – Results:-
Some excellent performances in the Schools and Juniors too as
you can see from this link to ALL of the finals inc the Seniors,
courtesy of HattonTV’s excellent coverage of all the finals.