Last weekend, NTU Boxing took on the BUCS Boxing Championships at The University of Wolverhampton.
NTU entered 6 athletes who competed against other universities with the hopes of getting some BUCS points for NTU.
Ben Robertson’s first fight was on Friday in the semi-final, unfortunately, Ben lost his fight by RSC to the athlete who went on to win the category on Sunday. Ben did well to stay competitive throughout the bout and has found that it will be a strong learning experience for when he returns next year. Ben’s strong performance meant that he received a bronze medal in category B.
Jacob Bird’s third appearance at BUCS meant that he confidently fought and delivered a strong performance on Friday. Unfortunately for Jacob, he was eliminated in the quarter-finals despite his clean shots.
Jack Roberts took on his first ever bout for NTU on Friday. With a previous record of 5-0 (3KO) before the weekend. Jack started the competition with a 22-second knockout of his opponent dropping him with a backhand. On Saturday, Jack faced a strong opponent, where in a competitive bout he was ahead in the 3rd round with just 30 seconds left, he landed an uppercut on his opponent sending him across the ring, delivering a win in the 3rd round knockout. On finals day, Jack faced University of Nottingham boxer, where both sides came to support delivering the loudest bout of the weekend. The bout was intense with the opposition pressing the fight leading in with his head causing point deductions in round 2 for multiple headbutts. After Jack’s multiple heavy shots it went to the scorecards and Jack won by a unanimous decision being crowned BUCS Champ 2022 75kg. Jack said that ‘it felt amazing to know that all the hard work and dedication was worth it and learned that if you put your mind and heart into anything, you can achieve it.’ Congratulations Jack on a hugely successful weekend.
Richard Junior Bio faced an opponent on Friday that was a mismatch, he dominated them and won by RSC in round 2, on Saturday he faced a taller opponent who managed to work and outbox throughout the bout winning by unanimous decision. In the final on Sunday Richard Junior outclassed his opponent winning by a knockout a minute into the contest, declaring him BUCS champion 2022, 86kg. ‘What a weekend, the pressure to perform was immense. The whole team was locked in and focused. There were so many doubts in my mind but I told myself that this is the time to show what I’d been practising. I saw so many boxers there and I started questioning my ability. But I had to remind myself of the pain I’ve been through, not just physically but mentally. I used that pain to push me. My motto is practice, prayer and patience and it all planned out wonderfully. It’s funny how I almost cried seeing my friends win but when I won, I showed 0 emotion.’ Said Richard, Congratulations on performing so strongly despite the pressure that you felt.
Last up was Keiran O’Connell in his first ever bout. On Friday, he outboxed his opponent whilst keeping him at range the whole bout winning by unanimous decision. On Saturday he faced an opponent with 5 years of experience who brought the fight to Kieran putting him under pressure early losing round 1 and 2 but Keiran did well to stay in the fight and came back in round 3. Unfortunately, Keiran was defeated by a unanimous decision. Keiran was awarded a bronze medal for his performance, we look forward to seeing him improve with NTU Boxing through his further years here. Kieran O’Connell said ‘boxing is seen as quite a lonely sport, so it was amazing to see just how close we all got as a team over the weekend. It was amazing to have my first win, and it acted as an educational experience to have my first loss. I can’t wait for the same next year, only this time I’ll be picking up gold.’
The last fight from the weekend was Jibrail Talukdar who is currently the most experienced of the team and performed strongly on the Friday leading him through to the Saturday where he faced a good opponent from Cardiff Met. Jibrail used his strong footwork to dance around the opposition dropping him once before he caused the referee to end the bout in the 3rd round. In the final, he faced an opponent from Manchester who had fought all weekend. He caused Jibrail some problems but his footwork allowed him to outland his opponent winning by split decision crowning him BUCS Champ 2022 71kg. We spoke to Jibrail about his fantastic achievement, ‘I felt blessed and humbled to have won with such a wholesome and hardworking team who also won medals and who all boxed exceptionally. And it was great to do it all in front of a very supportive crowd of friends, family, and good people that I met over the weekend’.
Cameron Spicer stated that he was ‘immensely proud of the lads, they put a lot into this weekend and can be proud of their achievements. I know that I can now graduate this summer whilst leaving the club in good hands. The boys have given me a better leaving gift than anyone else could have given and I am ecstatic that I have witnessed the start of a new generation at NTU boxing.’ Unfortunately, Cameron couldn’t compete but came down to show his support. Having started his time with NTU boxing in 2018, this was his last year with the club he says that ‘he hopes to have passed the torch to the new generation at NTU and wish the athletes the greatest of successes.’ Thank you to Cameron for the time that you have given to NTU boxing to settle the club into the position that they see themselves in today.
Jacob Bird also commented on the successes of the club, ‘I am unbelievably proud of every single one of these lads. They fought their hearts out and for half of the team to bring back golds just shows the commitment to excellence NTU Boxing has’. The athletes also acknowledged and thanked their coaches Jawaid Khaliq, for his work on the weekend and Fidel Smith in training as well as Clifton ABC coaches Gene Warburton and Ross Simons for helping Jawaid in the corner for our boxers this weekend.
The result of the BUCS Boxing Championship was 3 Golds and 2 Bronze is the joint highest gold tally with 2018, congratulations to NTU Boxing on delivering such a strong performance to their 5th BUCS Boxing Championship in history. We can’t wait to watch the club grow and develop even further than it already has.