Army Boxing Association - News & Media

ABA Winners Pte Saunders and Sgt Tony Richardson


Amateur Boxing Association of England Elite Championship Winners

Army Boxer Jeff Saunders followed in the footsteps of his brother, Bradley, as he won the National ABAE Elite final this weekend. (20th April 2013).

For the first time in the 130-year history of the Senior ABAs, the finals were held in the region as Rainton Meadows Arena played host to the showpiece of the amateur boxing calendar.

Saunders, who was Boxing for the Army Boxing Association, was successful in the 67kg final, and Anthony Richardson, from Skelton and also representing the Army, winning the last fight on the bill at super-heavyweight.

Saunders spurred on by his elder brother, the undefeated welterweight Bradley, defeated Repton ABC's Sam McNess with a 5-0 UD result to the delight of his ecstatic family watching on at ringside.

"I've been the underdog all the way through the tournament," said 21-year-old Saunders. "That has slotted in perfectly for me though and I was more than comfortable in there and just worked my rhythm throughout. It really is the best feeling ever. I've never doubted myself and my abilities anyway and have good self-confidence, so that's half the battle won."

As he came out to the ring, Bradley, a former senior ABA champion himself, was on hand to offer some last-second advice. "He just wished me luck, told me to not let the crowd get to me and to go and do what we both do best," said Jeff.

"That's exactly what I did and now I can look at the upcoming Three Nations Championships and pushing myself on from here."

The Arena was shaken to its rafters by the support afforded to the super heavyweight, Richardson.

The Teessider, from Skelton, had three-quarters of the Arena cheering for him as he claimed a 3-2 MD result over Woking ABC's Nicholas Webb.

Richardson, fighting for the Army Boxing Association, won an entertaining final contest against an opponent some five years his senior and 30kgs heavier. The soldier followed the instructions from coach Martin Anthony to use his speed and keep the heavier boxer moving. All was going according to plan when in round 3 Richardson was caught by a big right hand knocking him to the canvas. The hardy soldier was ready to box on the count of 8 and although buoyed by his success Webb was unable to put the Army Boxer away. The roof of the Arena was nearly taken off by the joyous crowd when Richardson was announced the winner.

Ryan Fillingham a promising youngster (18) in only his 5 senior bout was beaten on points by the talented Ghanian boxing out of Grove Park, Isaac Dogboe. After his experiences at the London Olympics; a defeat on points to the ¼ finalist, the compact boxer used his wiles to score inside frustrating Fillingham. The styles of the boxers clashed causing both to infringe and both sustained warnings. Fillingham although beaten was upbeat about the experience in his first tilt at the Senior Championships.

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E-mail:Nathan Pearce Secretary ABA

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