May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
HARINGEY Police boxer Kingsley Okolie is ‘gutted’ this week after his attempt to win the London final of the Senior ABA championships was ended by a broken hand.
The 26-year-old amateur had progressed through the north-west London divisional stage two weeks ago, and qualified for the 75kg class of the London finals in Dagenham on Saturday.
Okolie won his semi-final to set up a final with England fighter Frank Buglioni (Repton) – only to withdraw at the end of the first round with a broken right hand.
“Kingley’s as sick as a parrot, he’s gutted,” said Haringey coach Gerry Willmott MBE. “He’s been working for the last two or three months to get his weight down and get fit, and he was doing alright in the final. He stood a good chance.
“He outpointed the boy who he fought in the semi-final and was looking good on the day. He said he’d hurt his hand but I think the adrenaline had kicked in and helped him to finish the fight.
“Then he went into the final and by the end of the first round he couldn’t use his right hand, which is his main weapon. It was over then so we pulled him out.
“Buglioni’s an England boxer but Kingsley’s sparred with him in the past and he knew that he could beat him. It’s a real shame but I’m sure he’ll be here next year so we’ll have another go at it then.”
Okolie’s elimination ended Haringey’s involvement in the tournament, leaving Willmott (below) to focus on the club’s talented crop of girls, who are gearing up for the women’s ABAs next month.
“Overall, it’s been another disappointing year really – but then Arsenal haven’t won anything for five years and they’re not going to win anything this year either, so it’s not just us,” said Willmott, a Chelsea fan.
“The girls’ competition starts in April and we’ve got a good group. Leah Flintham won the 54kg category and Hannah Beharry is an international.
“We’ve also got Nicola Adams, who will be fighting at the Olympics next year and is the world number two. I don’t know if she’ll fight in the ABAs though, the Great Britain coaches will be deciding on that.”