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Boxing: Coulson takes Fourth English ABA Title in Mansfield
By Michael O’Neill

June 17, 2011


(JUNE 17) 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 Boys' 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 four times.

Amanda trains in Sheffield four times a week with the GB Boxing squad. Her focus is 100 per cent on preparing for the London Olympics.

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 experience".

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 experienced

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 from Wicklow.

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. 


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