It’s been a good year for Hackney boxing
Hackney fighters have good 12 months
HACKNEY boxers had a fine 2010 and although there were a few who couldn’t quite obtain their goals many exceeded theirs, with Larry Olubamiwo and Yassine El Maachi ending the year as International Masters champions.
Boxing correspondent Ken Selleck looks over a generally successful 2010 for the borough’s fighters.
HACKNEY’S hottest prospect can be more than happy with his 12 months as the ‘War Machine’ chalked up four victories. His first a stunning first round knockout of the usually durable Scott Belshaw, who he knocked down three times in the opening three minutes.
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The Clapton fighter was equally dominant in his next fight against Southampton’s Colin Kenna in April. Olubamiwo captured the Southern Area Heavyweight title with another first round stoppage, taking just over two minutes at Goresbrook Leisure Centre.
A month later he was again victorious inside the opening three minutes, with North East boxer Dave Ferguson no match for the Hackney man at the Brentwood Leisure Centre.
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A dispute with old promoter Frank Maloney kept Olubamiwo out of the ring until December and he made his comeback and arena debut last month, beating Paul Butlin in eight rounds to win the International Masters title.
FORMER European bantamweight champion Ian Napa will be hoping to bounce back in 2011 after a year to forget in the ring.
The Clapton fighter headed into last year full of confidence after winning the British title, but was beaten in January by Doncaster fighter Jamie McDonnell by split decision.
Napa seemed to dominate the majority of the fight and his fuming promoter Maloney described it as a “Dick Turpin decision.”
He was given an opportunity to regain the title in June against Darlington competitor Stuart Hall.
Napa dominated the fight but was mysteriously withdrawn after eight rounds by trainer Brian Lawrence.
“To get Ian down to 8st 6lbs was a problem,” Lawrence said. “I know he was winning, but it is my fighter’s health which is my concern.”
Wayne Alwan Arab
DALSTON fighter Wayne Alwan Arab keeps progressing up the middleweight rankings after chalking up three wins in 2010.
The Zimbabwe-born fighter was a points victor over Kevin McCauley in January and followed that victory up with a points win against Iain Eldridge in June.
Matt Scriven was Arab’s next victim, with the Hackney fighter winning three of the four rounds.
Yassine El Maachi
DALSTON fighter El Maachi has made great strides over the past 12 months, winning all of his three fights, capturing the International Masters light-middleweight title in the process.
El Maachi’s year began with a bang in March as he claimed a points win over Tomas Grublys at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre, before taking on Bertrand Aloa for the vacant Masters title a month later.
El Maachi knocked down his French adversary in the ninth and referee Jeff Hinds scored the Dalston man a 96-93 victor at York Hall.
After eight months off, the Hackney fighter was back in action in December, defending his title against Jimmy Colas.
In the toughest fight of his career to date, El Maachi was an easy 98-92 points victor.
STOKE NEWINGTON’S Erick Ochieng was another Hackney fighter who went unbeaten, capturing some decent scalps on his way.
The unbeaten light-middleweight captured the third win of his career with a two-round stoppage of Plymouth fighter Jon Harrison at Brentwood in January and followed that up with his finest win to date.
Curtis Valentine was supposed to be destined for great things, but Ochieng took the Nottingham fighter apart winning the bout on points.
His best win was followed by his most dominating performance, stopping Alex Spitko in September.
Nottingham fighter Spitko is known for his durability and is rarely stopped, but Ochieng was superb downing his opponent in the fourth, with referee Curtis stopping the contest with 20 seconds left.
Best of the rest
MARK ALEXANDER beat Michael Devine and Sid Razak before he was blown away by Ryan Barrett inside a round at York Hall in September.
Former Repton fighter Damian Campbell beat Lee Swaby before drawing with Colin Kenna, while Stoke Newington boxer Tony Salam’s only fight of the year was a knockout victory over Shon Davies.
Former St Monica’s BC fighter Terry Dunstan beat David Dolan to win the English Cruiserweight title in six rounds in December.