A thrilling super-heavyweight contest, which saw Joyce defeat Frazer Clarke, climaxed the 127th England Boxing Elite Men’s National Finals 2014 at the Echo Arena Liverpool as 10 national champions were crowned.
The bout, which saw Joyce defeat his colleague from the GB Boxing squad Frazer Claire to secure a second national title, was the It was the culmination of three-days of boxing following a re-vamp of the final stages of the completion which saw the quarter-finals, semis and finals held on consecutive days.
Seven of the winners are members of the GB Boxing quad and all 10 of came from clubs in Leeds, London, Liverpool or the north east with Burmantofts ABC (Leeds) and Repton ABC (East London) securing the most winners with two titles each.
The other celebrating clubs were: Birtley ABC, Salisbury, Golden Gloves ABC, South Norwood and Victory, Sunderland ABC and Earlsfield ABC.
The results on Finals day were:
Harvey Horn, Repton
Thomas Essomba , Olympian
Charlie Edwards, Repton
Jack Bateson, Burmantofts
Qais Ashfaq, Burmantofts
Lucien Reid, West Ham
Pat McCormack , Birtley
Jack Daniels , Tigers
Sam Maxwell, Salisbury
Josh Kelly, Houghton & District
Connor Loftus, Burmantofts
Ekow Essuman, Bilborough Community
Antony Fowler, Golden Gloves
Troy Williamson, Darlington
Joshua Buatsi, South Norwood & Victory
Lyndon Arthur, Collyhurst & Moston
Warren Baister, Sunderland
James Branch, Repton
Joe Joyce, Earlsfield
Frazer Clarke, Burton
The first winner of the day was Harvey Horn from Repton who secured the light-flyweight title with a split decision over Thomas Essomba.
It was followed by contest at flyweight, which saw Charlie Edwards overcame his fellow member of the GB Boxing squad, Jack Bateson in a terrific encounter.
Bateson was the busier of the pair and attacked Edwards with a series of left right combinations. But it was Edwards’ clever work on the counter attack that caught the judges’ eye as he secured a unanimous points victory over his chief rival for the flyweight slot in England’s Commonwealth games team.
Edwards said: “Jack is a very good boxer who trains hard so I am very pleased to have won today and shown that I am the number one boxer at flyweight. I would hope this win puts me in pole position to go the Commonwealth Games which is my big aim for this year.”
Another bout with potential Commonwealth Games implication was at light-welterweight and again featured two members of the GB Boxing squad, Sam Maxwell and Josh Kelly.
Backed by noisy support from his hometown fans, Maxwell used his experience and maturity to overpower Kelly and secure a unanimous points victory to become a two-weight National Champion.
A delighted Maxwell said: “I am so happy to win again. This tops my first title and to win in front of my home crowd who gave me such brilliant support is an absolutely amazing feeling. Josh is only 19 and he is going to be a great boxer but I just felt really good today and knew I had a few more gears in me if I needed them. Winning a second title has really given me a massive confidence boost and I want to take that forward with me.”
Another local boxer who enjoyed vocal support from the home fans was middleweight Antony Fowler who joined Maxwell as a two-weight National Champion with a win over Troy Williamson from Darlington.
In his eagerness to finish the bout, Fowler did have to withstand some heavy blows from Williamson but was never in danger and landed a series of powerful right hands in all three rounds on his way to a unanimous points victory.
“I wanted to put on a show for the home crowd and tried to knock him out so I probably made that harder than it needed to be,” admitted Fowler afterwards. “He was a game lad and caught me with a few shots but I felt comfortable in there and always knew I was going to win.”
Joining Fowler and Maxwell as a two-time champion was Qais Ashfaq from Leeds who used his class and experience to secure the bantamweight crown with a win over West Ham’s Lucien Reid. His club mate, Connor Loftus made it two winners for Burmantofts ABC in Leeds when he overcame Ekow Essuman in the welterweight final.
Before that, the 2011 European and World Junior Champion, Pat McCormack made an impressive debut in the National Finals wining the lightweight crown in his first appearance in the senior tournament. The 18-year-old from Birtley showed terrific speed and wide array of skills to defeat Jack Daniel on all three judges’ scorecards.
The bigger weights saw three tremendous battles as Joshua Buatsi defeated Lyndon Arthur at light-heavyweight before Warren Baister got the better of James Branch to become the heavyweight champion – six years after fist winning the crown.
The day concluded with a thrilling super-heavyweight contest which saw Joe Joyce win his second national title by TKO over Burton’s Frazer Clarke.
Clarke made the brighter start landing a series of heavy blows early on however Joyce soon began to find his range and as the bout progressed he wore down Clarke with a display of accurate hitting that caused the Burton man to take a standing count in the third. The bout was stopped when Clarke’s corner wisely threw in the towel to prevent him from taking further punishment after another onslaught from Joyce.
The bout was a barnstorming end to a superb final day of a fantastic weekend of boxing.