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Boxing: Hooks ABC youngsters qualifying from London Regional event to reach National Schools finals

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 May 2017

The Hooks ABC group in action at the London Regional event (pic: Hooks ABC)

The Hooks ABC group in action at the London Regional event (pic: Hooks ABC)

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Three Hooks prospects to challenge for national honours

Three Hooks ABC youngsters are off to the National Schools finals in Manchester after qualifying from the London Regional event.

Undefeated prospect Albie Shanahan reached his second national final with an impressive success against Moneyfields Portsmouth rival Bobby Prior.

Shanahan, 13, found the going tough early on as Prior set a very fast pace to win the first round.

However, the Hooks youngster’s fast feet and straight punching took over to win the last two rounds, taking him into his second national final next Saturday.

Shanahan will be joined in Manchester by club mate Brian O’Donnell in the 29kg final, who showed great character to defeat Jessie Smith of Hasting & West Hill.

The much taller Smith won the first rd with long, straight punches and good footwork, picking O’Donnell, 13, off as he attempted to get close to his well-tutored opponent.

However, O’Donnell’s pressure finally told as the ferocity and determination of his attacks, as well as his non-stop work rate, proved too much for Smith.

Tony O’Donnell will also box in Manchester in the 26.5kg final after being the beneficiary of a walkover at the London qualifier.

O’Donnell, 12, had been due to face Joel Fallon of Pinewood before his withdrawal earlier in the week.

However, club mate Silas Rose-Morris missed out on qualifying for the national finals following a defeat in Londo.

Rose-Morris, 14, had been a national finalist last year, but missed out on repeating the trick after losing to Moneyfields’ Jay Cooper in their 48kg bout.

Hooks ABC coach Steve Newland was pleased with the success from the youngsters in the London event, commenting: “The finals in Manchester are a big ask. Brian O’Donnell boxes a fellow undefeated and more experienced boxer from Middlesbrough.

“Likewise, Tony O’Donnell dace a more experienced boxer from Hull, so two undefeated boxers will put their records and reputations on the line.

“Albie Shanahan, whilst being undefeated and a reigning national champion, boxes a more experienced Liverpudlian with only one loss on his record.

“It will be a tough weekend, but our lads are more than capable of rising to the occasion.”

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