Gareth Jones on the boxers who impressed within the finals of the Welsh Elite championships
The Croft twins from Cardigan celebrated their final weekend as youngsters with a Welsh Elite double earlier than an enthusiastic crowd on the Sport Wales Nationwide Centre on November 26, the primary such competitors since 2019.
Southpaw Ioan, recent from a gold medal on the Golden Gong in Skopje, gained three straight 5-0 choices to take the honours at light-middle, forcing a first-round standing rely in seeing off Lewys Parfitt (Maerdy).
The Rhondda man was at all times aggressive, however Croft had that bit extra, steadily bringing his backhand left into play and leaving little doubt concerning the consequence.
The orthodox brother, Garan, had a harder job up at center, however got here by means of with a 4-1 cut up over Rhoose expertise Taylor Bevan. Each kids had stopped their semi-final opponents.
Bevan, a GB Youth gold medalist two years in the past, stored busy with a stiff left, whereas Garan labored properly with each fists. On the finish of a contest which lived as much as expectation, the vote went within the West Walian’s favour.
The largest upset got here at heavyweight, the place defending champion Samson Leyson – a good description, given there was no occasion final yr – discovered himself outworked and out-sped by nimble southpaw Cassius Hunt (Cwmavon Hornets).
Leyson was with out his mentor on the Prizefighter health club in Carmarthen, Kevin Evans – the primary Briton to medal on the World championships is recovering from a hip operation – and lacked focus. The unheralded Hunt, who had eradicated the skilled Dylan Hayward within the final 4, deserved his unanimous success.
They are saying it’s by no means too late to chase your goals and Lana Cooper (Torfaen Warriors) is eyeing a Commonwealth Video games spot after claiming the ladies’s light-welter prize with a whitewash of sport Alexandra Bridges, from Tonyrefail.
Cooper, now 34, and again after an injury-hit decade which introduced 10 straight losses within the professional ring, boxed fantastically earlier than receiving her trophy from Olympic queen Lauren Price, who is about to hitch the paid ranks herself subsequent yr.
In the one different feminine ultimate, Torfaen light-weight Jade Gitsham, twice a winner for Afan Spartans, ceded command of the ring centre to Chloe Morris (DJ Boxing) and dropped a 4-1 verdict.
Amongst others with subsequent yr’s festivities in Birmingham in thoughts, 18-year-old Cardiffian Scott Jones (Highfields) underlined his potential with three unanimous triumphs, culminating in a wonderful light-welter ultimate with gritty southpaw Joshua Meli (Cwmavon Hornets).
The North’s solely victor on the evening – they did choose up two different titles through walkovers – was Llandudno’s Richard Williams, who shipped a strong proper early on earlier than ending strongly to earn a 4-1 vote over helpful Stacy Pearson (Afan Spartans) at welterweight.
Pearson’s clubmate, Kristian Hynes, produced the one stoppage when he compelled 4 standing counts on native rival Ronan Lamont (Port Talbot) earlier than the feather ultimate was ended within the third.
Somerton Rascals light-weight Zac Hickman managed issues all through and was rewarded with a unanimous victory over Premier’s Korben Crocker, whose older brother Ben was profitable on a professional invoice the opposite aspect of town.
In a cruiserweight battle of the beards,Aaron Hen (Port Talbot), a champion in 2017, sneaked in 3-2 over RAF man Emyr Parry, whereas particular credit score goes to Caerphilly light-heavy Mark Davies. In a match tormented by pull-outs, he nonetheless needed to field 4 occasions, wrapping issues up with a 4-1 cut up over aggressive Maelor southpaw Gary Richards.
51: Jake Dodd (Shotton) walkover. 52: Helen Jones (Premier) walkover. 54: Kristian Hynes (Afan Spartans) stpd Ronan Lamont (Port Talbot) 3rd. 57: Billy Unsworth (Shotton) walkover. 60: Zac Hickman (Somerton Rascals) outptd Korben Crocker (Premier) unan, Chloe Morris (DJ Boxing) outptd Jade Gitsham (Torfaen Warriors) cut up. 63: Scott Jones (Highfields) outptd Joshua Meli (Cwmavon Hornets) unan, Lana Cooper (Torfaen Warriors) outptd Alexandra Bridges (Tonyrefail) unan. 67: Richard Williams (Llandudno) outptd Stacy Pearson (Afan Spartans) cut up. 71: Ioan Croft (Cardigan) outptd Lewys Parfitt (Maerdy) unan. 75: Garan Croft (Cardigan) outptd Taylor Bevan (Rhoose) cut up. 80: Mark Davies (Caerphilly) outptd Gary Richards (Maelor) cut up. 86: Aaron Hen (Port Talbot) outptd Emyr Parry (RAF) cut up. 92: Cassius Hunt (Cwmavon Hornets) outptd Samson Leyson (Prizefighter) cut up). 92&: Josh Taylor (Pontypool) walkover.