A memorable weekend heaped credit on Ilkeston’s Trinity Amateur Boxing Club as they staged a sell-out tournament and enjoyed national success.
The tournament was held at the Festival Inn in Trowell in tribute to the club’s founder, John Rafferty, who died earlier this year.
Fittingly, five of six Trinity boxers claimed victory on the ten-bout bill, most notably captain Kyle Hughes, who pulled off an outstanding points win in the fight of the night against Doncaster rival Kyle Fox. Hughes’s performance in the middleweight contest earned him the Ralph Smitheringale Memorial Cup for the best Trinity boxer of the night.
Also winning in style was light-welterweight Matt Richmond, who unloaded a barrage of punches in the second round to finish off Manchester opponent Mike Hill. And in the junior ranks, there were impressive unanimous points wins for Charlie Wilson, Tommy Dennis and Bobby Parkes, which underlined the club’s strength in depth.
Trinity’s national joy came in the quarter-finals of the England Development Championships at Scunthorpe, with both Alex Testro and Sam Bates, already crowned East Midlands champions, enjoying emphatic victories.
The unbeaten Testro faced Coventry boxer Matt Rahill in the junior 75kg category and after a close first round, he landed a big left-hand punch early in the second from his southpaw stance that stunned his opponent, who was counted out. Light-heavyweight star Bates outboxed Stoke rival Jamie Cunningham with solid counter left hooks and straight rights to earn a unanimous verdict. Both go through to the semis at Doncaster Dome.