Girl power alive and well in boxing ring in London

BOXERS from Chichester and Bognor clubs were among those representing the South of England team against London Diamonds in a televised all-female contest at the Territorial Army Centre in Grove park, south-east London.

Thursday, 18th June 2015, 9:22 pm
Holly Heffron and Shona Paffey

The St Gerards and Ockley clubs travelled together to support Holly Heffron, 12, and Shona Paffey, 26, as they preapred for their fights.

St Gerards boxer Heffron was having her third contest and was up against Sameenah Toussain of Northolt BC, also 12, in a 46kg tussle.

Toussain was more experienced as the holder of the English schoolgirls’ title at her weight. She is also a black belt in tae kwon do.

But St Gerards coach Jon Mills said: “We felt Holly could still challenge her on a fair basis because of her unique talent, considering she has been boxing for only under a year.

“The contest started at a very fast pace with both girls giving their all and could have gone either way.

“We told Holly to up the ante and push in behind her jab to take control of the centre of the ring. Sameenah seemed to get the better of this round.

“In the last round we told Holly to go out all guns blazing as it was very important to win this last round to get a winning decision and she did just that, but to no avail with Sameenah winning a deserved points decision. Holly can only benefit from the occasion.”

Paffey, of Ockley BC, weighing in at 60kg, was up against 33-year-old Londoner Candice Ayrey of Haringey BC.

Ockley coach Tony Woodley said: “We told Shona to go out and do her thing and she did just that, giving her all. Considering her lack of experience and the first round was very close and could have gone either way.

“The second was much the same with both girls battling away to gain the advantage. In the third round we told Shona to go out and enjoy herself and push forward all the way. She did as she was told pushing right to the very end.

“The result was a deserved points win for Candice but in our own backyard it may have been a different story.

“Shona is one to watch for the future – her work ethic is second to none. Being a mum with full support of her husband Brett only strenghtens her resolve to improve in this very tough sport.”

St Gerards coach Gerry Lavelle was in attendance with club colleague Mills and Ockley coaches Woodley and Faz Chitima.

He said: “We’re immensely proud of our girls and all they do in this very arduous sport – they did both our clubs proud.

They have set a precedent for other females in the south to follow and performed on the biggest stage and platform in London on live TV. We could not have asked for more. Both girls are ones to watch.”

Ellis Booth of St Gerards, the 2013 English bantamweight champion at 54kg, was unable to compete as her London opponent pulled out the day before.

She is entered in the famous Haringey Box Cup at Alexandria Palace this weekend in the flyweight category at 51kg.

Ockley Boxing Club have Gareth Ide taking part at light-middleweight, ready to show off his speed and power.

The event is also being shown live by London Live TV and can be watched on londonlive.co.uk. Alternatively, visit Haringey Boxing Club’s website for details.

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