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Hooks gold medallist earns belated birthday present at Haringey Box Cup

PUBLISHED: 13:12 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:12 26 June 2013

Marcela Capaja

Marcela Capaja

Dieter Perry

Hooks ABC's Marcela Capaja sacrificed her birthday celebrations to secure a prestigious gold medal at the Haringey Box Cup.

Capaja turned 21 five days before Sunday’s Class A under-51kg final – but she spent the evening of her birthday training at the Park Royal gym in preparation for the clash with Irish rival Amanda Spencer.

And her hard work paid off as she won on a majority decision, while two other Hooks boxers, Kuteiba Jiminez and Mohammed Abid, also reached finals at the tournament, but had to settle for silver medals.

“Marcie did get robbed of her 21st birthday thanks to me, but it was worth it for the gold medal,” said Hooks trainer Steve Newland.

“I actually thought we were going to get three – it’s been a successful season and that would have been the icing on the cake. But I’m delighted with the two boys, they worked hard and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Capaja looked on top throughout against her opponent, from Dublin’s Golden Cobra club, scoring well with her jab in the opening round and then landing a series of crisp combinations.

A sequence of four punches to head and body forced Spencer onto the ropes in the third round and, although she survived to the end, it was the Hooks fighter who claimed a 3-2 majority on the judges’ scorecards.

Jiminez had to box twice to reach the Class B under-71kg final, defeating N May (Basingstoke) on a unanimous decision before producing another impressive performance to overcome Belgium’s Rahim Mohammed.

In a hard-fought final against A Zahid (Bury), Jiminez appeared to land the better shots, but his opponent finished well to clinch a 3-2 majority decision.

“It was close and he’s unlucky,” added Newland. “He fought his heart out for three days and he felt he’d pulled out another performance, but I think he’s made a name for himself.”

Abid defeated Brentwood’s Tom Burling on a 4-1 majority decision in the Class B under-60kg semi-final – and he then had to do a late-night shift in the restaurant where he works as a chef before returning for the next day’s final.

Although several of Abid’s work colleagues came to cheer him on, waving personalised pizza boxes in a show of support, fatigue played its part as he lost a 4-1 majority to Gerald Matthews, from St Paul’s club in Belfast.

Hooks also had three junior boxers in action at the tournament, with Liam Corcoran – who had been out of the ring for some time with a broken arm – defeating Finchley’s Martin McDonagh on a unanimous decision.

Tidy O’Donnell also took a unanimous decision against M Fuller (Brentwood), while debutant Mark Rushton put in a classy display despite losing out on a split decision to D Redmond (Finchley).

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