TWENTY-SIX boxers will converge on Cardiff tomorrow with the chance of putting their names alongside those of some of Wales’s greatest fighters.
The Sport Wales National Centre in Sophia Gardens hosts the Welsh ABA (WABA) senior finals for the second year in a row with 13 bouts in all taking place.
A number of those taking to the ring in the Welsh capital have recently won selection for the WABA’s new 2014 Elite Men’s and 2014 Elite Women’s squads, while Cwmgors ABC’s Zack Davies is a current member of the GB Boxing set-up.
Davies, who meets Thomas Evans of Maesteg ABC, is bidding to defend the 60kg title he won in 2011. On that occasion he had too much firepower for opponent Craig Woodruff and was also named Best Boxer of the Night.
Two of those included in the 2014 Elite Men’s squad, Morgan Jones (Merthyr Ex ABC) and Nathan Thorley (St Joseph’s ABC, Cardiff), who fought for Wales at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games, clash at 81kg.
Mountain Ash ABC’s Lloyd Davies will hope to retain his 91kg crown with victory over Carmarthen ABC’s Rhys Williams while Jamie Evans, of Dowlais ABC, a losing finalist 12 months ago, looks to go one better in the 69kg final against Kristian Nagle (Splott ABC).
Daniel Richards and Darren Hughes, both boxing out of the Heads of the Valley club, face Leon Goodman (St Joseph’s ABC, Newport) and Craig Kennedy (Llanrumney ABC) at 75kg and 91+kg respectively.
At 52kg, Jay Harris, of Gwent ABC in Swansea, goes head-to-head with Ryan Llewellyn (Cwmbran ABC), while clubmate Joe Hall takes on Red Dragon ABC’s Kazim Ghani at 56kg. Croeserw ABC’s Thomas Hoar and Pembroke ABC’s Nico Morrison are the finalists at 64kg.
The standout contest in the women’s competition looks like being the one at 60kg between Wales teammates Becky Price, of Cwmcarn ABC, and Charlene Jones, fighting out of Merlins Bridge ABC.
Price won the title last year after beating Jones in the semi-finals and both have been included in the 2014 Elite Women’s group.
GB Boxing squad member Lynsey Holdaway is a big favourite to retain her 48kg championship against Sophie Tinklin, also of Cwmcarn ABC, and at 64kg Colcot ABC’s Rachel Tobin faces Tamlyn Williams of Baglan’s Sandfields ABC.