After National Glory, RAF Coningsby Boxers Continue To Dominate With Lord Wakefield Success
Following the recent success of SAC Adam Watson, of MT Flight, in the ABA Light Middleweight National Class B Novice finals, Coningsby boxers continued to shine with an impressive performance at this year’s RAF Lord Wakefield Novice Boxing Championships.
The Championships are the highlight of the RAF Boxing calendar and have a long-standing tradition within the RAF and the wider UK amateur boxing fraternity. Many of the boxers have trained for a number of months prior to the Championships and it brings novice boxers together from across the RAF to compete for a coveted Lord Wakefield title in their particular weight division.
The effort and commitment to training over the last few months was rewarded with three out of four boxers reaching the finals. First up was SAC Paul Kimber, of 41(R)Sqn, in the Light Welterweight category who was boxing against the more experienced SAC Hopkinson from RAF Boulmer. Paul’s hand speed and movement was too much for his Boulmer-based opponent and a series of clean shots in the third round left his opponent on the canvas, forcing the victory by way of Knock Out. This performance also caught the eye of the RAF Team Manager and Paul has now been selected to represent the RAF in upcoming fixtures.
Next up, SAC Tom Reilly of 3(F)Sqn was fighting against SAC Spicer from RAF Wittering in the Welterweight division. Tom was favourite going into this bout after his recent success boxing around in local Civilian shows; however he was made to work right until the final bell by a very determined opponent. The fight began with both boxers aiming to put the other on the back foot, but it was the Coningsby boxer who took the early advantage by utilising his strength and landing the cleaner shots. The story was the same in the second round as Tom’s greater fitness began to shine through. A relentless and skilful display saw Tom win the title by way of points.
The final Coningsby boxer competing for the coveted title was Pilot Officer Scott Boland, from Air Traffic, who had to box two fights in two days simply to reach the final in a very competitive Light Middleweight category. Scott was up against the much talked about and dangerous SAC Benn from 58 Regiment Squadron who had swept aside his previous competition with relative ease. The first round saw the Gunner explode into action with some early shots rocking Scott to his core. To his credit he was able to stem the relentless aggression with some tidy back foot boxing, picking his punches with pinpoint precision. The second and third rounds followed a similar pattern with Scott having to survive an early onslaught in each. Even after picking himself up off the canvas he was able to have some success throughout the fight. Scott produced a gutsy display, not just in the final but across the whole weekend which in any other year would have won him the crown. Unfortunately a well deserved points decision went to the Regiment Gunner.
On the same bill, Flying Officer Andy Parker, OC Eng Standards and Practices, represented the RAF in a contest against Bolton’s Danny Johnson who had beaten him three months earlier. Boxing in what seemed to be his home show, Andy’s fast hand speed and slick movement gave him a point’s victory to avenge the defeat last time out.
This success is just the latest from RAF Coningsby’s Boxing Club, with SAC Adam Watson fighting his way to a National Title in January this year. Adam’s journey began last November where he was selected to box for the RAF in the Class B under 71kg Combined Service Championships. After defeating the Army golden boy, Adam continued his journey to success in the quarter finals of the Nationals by stopping the highly rated South West Regional Champion in Bodmin. Next up came the semi-finals which, after being postponed twice, finally took place in Peteborough, and saw him come up against last year’s finalist Will McDermott representing London and the Home Counties. Again, he made one of the competition favourites look relatively average by winning comfortably on points. The final saw Adam show off his best boxing of the tournament. After a nervous start he soon began to control the fight with long rangy straight shots on the back foot. The second round saw his taller opponent come out his corner and try and stifle his rhythm but after a brief reprieve Adam’s work rate and accuracy forced his opponent back on the defensive for the remainder of the round. This continued for the third and fourth rounds with Adam controlling the bout until the end, forcing a convincing points victory. This is just reward for Adam’s commitment and focus to a training programme which includes three to four sessions a day for the last four months and having to continue his rigorous training regime over the Christmas period. Adam hopes to continue boxing for the rest of the season, however is due to go to the Falkland Islands later this year. On return he aims to take forward this success and begin training to compete with the country’s most talented boxers at the full ABA Senior Championships in 2012 and 2013.
Other achievements include SAC Tyler Antoine from GEF and Flying Officer Andy Parker who both competed as part of the RAF Squad and also Flying Officer Fiona Taylor, OC Survival Equipment Flight, who became the first female to represent the RAF against an external region in over 5 years, when she fought and won in Blackpool against North West Counties select. With an ever increasing coaching set up and producing boxers who are regularly called up to represent the Service, RAF Coningsby is fast becoming an important station within the RAF boxing fraternity, and with the hope of having four representatives from the Station fighting at the Combined Services Championships later in the year, the future looks bright.
The club itself caters for all levels of boxing ability, whether you simply want to get fit or are interested in competing. The club runs 1715-1900 Mondays and Wednesday at the Station Sports Hall. If you require further information please contact Flying Officer Parker (OIC Boxing) on ext 7948.