Neasden, Hooks, All Stars and Dale Youth all set for London finals
- Credit: Archant
Neasden ABA coach Xavier Miller was proud of his boxers’ performances at the north west division development championships in Hayes.
Miller will be in the corner for Dennis Wahome on Sunday when the 25-year-old takes on the the winner of the Under-60kgs semi final between Chris McKenzie (Fitzroy Lodge) and Salim Saeed (Earlsfield).
Wahome was impressive against Ryan Walsh (Hayes ABC) in the final, showing excellent movement to avoid being caught by the big right hand that Walsh attempted to throw throughout the three rounds – and Miller is confident he will not freeze in the final on Sunday.
Miller said: “Dennis boxed beautifully behind the jab. We talked about a strategy for weeks and he’s been working really hard, I’m very proud of him.
“His defence was brilliant and he landed some excellent left hooks and uppercuts. He was pulling back from shots and rolling under shots – it was very impressive.
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“Normally the guys that come from martial arts backgrounds find it very difficult to adapt to boxing but Dennis is an athlete and he’s excellent with his feet. For him the transition has been an easy one.”
Wahome, from Northolt, said: “I knew I could box and if he wanted to exchange then I knew I could do the same as well.
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“I took the first 30 seconds to figure out what he was going to do and I could see the big right hands coming so I just put my jab on him during the final round.”
Wahome has been boxing for three years and believes his martial arts background has helped him in the boxing ring.
He said: “I did taekwondo before at national and international level. I started boxing to build up my upper body because taekwondo is all legs and then I quit it to concentrate on boxing.
“I met Xavier when I went to Stonebridge gym and I liked his style. He kept my style of boxing – he didn’t try to change me. I like to move, he just helped me with my defence. I travel to Neasden because that is where Xav is, wherever he goes, I go.”
Despite landing the cleaner shots, and an excellent range of punches, Saaed Salim lost to Arron Sinclair in the Under-56kgs final.
The referee warned Salim about the use of his head and shoulder on two occasions which ultimately led to him losing on a split decision.
Miller was also disappointed that Delroy Dapaah lost on a unanimous points decision against Xavier Lake in the Under-75kgs final.
He said: “I should really have three guys in the finals but I told the guys who lost that they just need to come again – take it on the chin and come again.
“I thought Delroy won that fight easily. He was landing the better pucnhes and I did say to him to go out in the last round and if you boss the last round then you’ve won this fight.
“If I’m going to be generous then I would give the guy the first round because Delroy was doing a lot of moving around and not really enough action but the next two rounds he dominated.
“I was frustrated on the first night because one of our guys TJ, who is very talented, boxed the other guy’s fight rather than his own fight.”
Dapaah said: “I’m very disappointed. I thought I took the third round, I was catching him with left hooks and right hands and the occasional jabs.
“I didn’t feel like his performance showed that he won it any more than I did.”
Aaron Dilloway of Dale Youth beat Kenyon Reid of Islington BC in a tight bout to win the north west Under-69kgs title and will now face Shamari McKay (Miguels) in the London semi-final on Saturday.
In the Under-56kgs weight division J Teal of Dale Youth will take on Connor Marsden (Earlsfield) over four two-minute rounds in a semi-final clash on Saturday with the winner facing Ramez Mahmoud (Gator) on Sunday.
J O’Meara (Dale Youth) needs to beat C Onweugbus (Finchley) at the Boston Dome tonight (Thursday) to set up a semi-final clash with Richard Samuels (Balham) in the class B Under-69kgs division.
The Under-60kgs final will see Mohammed Yaqoubi (All Stars) face Shazan Shan (Gator).
Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82