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Stamford Amateur Boxing Club end their season on a high with victories for Tim Nkala and Matt Cross

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Stamford Amateur Boxing Club have ended their season on a high by adding further titles to their impressive résumé at the prestigious challenge belt tournament.

Tim Nkala triumphed in the 71kg senior event while national champion Matt Cross enhanced his growing reputation by making it a double success for the Stamford club.

The cherry on the cake for the club also came when Cross was voted by officials as ‘the best boxer of the tournament’ and picked up the silver jug in recognition.

Matt Cross and Tim Nkala display their successes after a fine season for Stamford Amateur Boxing Club.
Matt Cross and Tim Nkala display their successes after a fine season for Stamford Amateur Boxing Club.

Delighted head coach Mark Atherton enthused: “It was a great day for Stamford and Stamford Boxing club.

“I am extremely proud of not just the two lads today but our whole squad of boxers who have represented Stamford with great dignity, respect and no shortage of skill, up and down the country all year.

“This season we have won two national titles, two challenge belts, had two losing national finalists and a best boxer of the tournament award which is not bad for a small town competing against the big powerhouse city clubs.

“It’s been a great end to a fantastic season and I am sure next season will bring even greater success.”

Nkala was boxing a very strong Folkestone figher who he had lost to earlier in the season in his final.

He had prepared well and was in a confident mood and this showed in the ring as Nkala very quickly stamped his authority on the contest with spearing jabs and crisp right hands.

As the bell tolled to start the second round, Nkala began to dominate and hurt his rugged opponent several times with straight right hands through the Folkestone man’s guard.

Nkala sealed the victory and the prestigious title with a composed display of boxing in the final round despite the Folkestone man’s strong efforts.

The victory left the Stamford camp in buoyant mood ahead of Cross being top of the bill as he took to the ring looking to add another title to his hugely impressive collection.

Coach Tommy Martin – the ex-professional English and WBA international champion – had warmed Cross up in the changing rooms and the thud could be heard from his punches.

Described by his coach as a ‘machine,’ Cross climbed through the ropes to face an exceptionally talented Londoner.

However, the Stamford camp were extremely confident that Cross had what it takes to win the title.

Head coach Atherton had said that preparations for this had gone perfectly and Cross was extremely disciplined, hard-working and a joy to train.

The London man received a rapturous welcome when introduced given he was boxing on home soil but this did not phase Cross at all such is his belief.

After a cagey opening with both men showing respect for each other’s power and ability, Cross soon settled into his rhythm by dominating the contest behind stiff shots.

The Londoner was hurt several times in the opening round as Cross began to go through the gears by scoring punches to both head and body.

The proceeding rounds continued in very much the same vein with Cross always having the upper hand over the excellent London fighter.

At the sound of the final bell, the celebrations began in the Stamford corner as there could only be one winner and that was the town boxer who was declared the winner by a unanimous decision.

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