Golden triple for Kirkby’s Ashfield Spartans Boxing Academy

Ashfield Spartans' gold medal-winning trioAshfield Spartans' gold medal-winning trio
Ashfield Spartans' gold medal-winning trio
Kirkby-based boxing academy Ashfield Spartans picked up three gold medals at the Ed Bilbey Box Cup at Meres Leisure Centre, Grantham.

The event culminated in a triumphant haul for the academy, with two of their athletes navigating particularly challenging tournament brackets.

Head coach Stewart Nubley said: “Our boxers have shown incredible determination and skill throughout this tournament.

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“Winning three gold medals at such a prestigious event is a testament to their hard work and dedication.”

Archie Leaper, one of the academy's standout competitors and the Midlands Box Cup 2023 63kg Champion as well as the East Midlands junior 63kg Champion, had a demanding path to his gold in the Junior 63kg category.

Leaper began his campaign on Friday with a hard-fought quarter-final bout against Dylan Kocaj of Blackbird Leys ABC, emerging victorious via a majority decision.

Leaper continued his winning streak in the semi-finals on Saturday, defeating James Hooper from One Nation ABC by unanimous decision.

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His final test came on Sunday, where he faced Sufyan Abubaker of Moss Side Fire Station ABC.

Leaper secured his gold medal with another majority decision, capping off a remarkable performance over three consecutive days of intense competition.

Alex Chirila mirrored Leaper's success in the Senior 80kg category.

Chirila's quarter-final on Friday saw him dispatch Connor Ferguson from Little Oakley Boxing Club in the first round, with the referee stopping the contest.

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He advanced to Saturday’s semi-final, where he secured a unanimous decision over Joshua James from Thetford Town ABC, who was considered a tougher opponent than his final adversary.

Chirila's final bout on Sunday was against Luke Sheppard of Ashfield SOB, the current East Midlands 80kg senior challenge belt holder.

Despite Sheppard receiving a bye through every stage to the final, Chirila triumphed via a majority decision, clinching the Senior 80kg gold.

Spartans' third gold came from Lucas Sheldon in the Junior 75kg category.

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Sheldon was set to face Ben Cheetham of Empire ABC in Sunday’s final, but Cheetham’s withdrawal at the weigh-in awarded Sheldon a walkover victory.

The Ed Bilbey Box Cup, named in honour of the late Ed Bilbey, a prominent figure in British amateur boxing, attracted a wide array of talent.

The Spartans' dominance underscores their status as a leading force in the sport, with their athletes demonstrating exceptional skill and resilience.

The success at the Ed Bilbey Box Cup adds to the Ashfield Spartans' growing legacy, reinforcing their reputation for nurturing top-tier boxing talent.

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As the academy celebrates this remarkable achievement, their sights are set on future competitions, with confidence riding high.

If you want to join Spartans, training sessions are held every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 6pm at Congress House, Unit 1, Kingsley Street, Kirkby.

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