Robbie Matthews at Southern CountiesPortsmouth’s boxing hero, Robbie Matthews’s assault on the ABA Senior Championships 2011 ended on Saturday 30th April 2011. The Senior ABA’s semi finals took place at Dagenham Park School, School Road, Barking, Essex.

HOP’s Robbie Matthews had the task of dethroning the London Champion Brett Beadon (Repton ABC), who carries a record of 45 bouts 39 wins. The bout was a very hard fought contest with both boxers landing heavy and very accurate blows. Each round the pace increased, as Matthews went to the body to try and slow the Repton, London Champion down. With the bout tilting in the London Champion’s favor going into the last round, Matthews had to take the bout to his opponent which was always going to be difficult against a tall rangy southpaw who was very well seasoned and skilled. Matthews lost the bout on a final bout score of 22 – 9.

HOP Head Coach “Q” Shillingford commented; reaching the Senior ABA National Semi Finals is a great achievement in amateur boxing and especially the way Robbie has performed this season having had 8 bouts and won 7. This has been a fantastic journey for Matthews and the start of a new sporting chapter in his boxing career. Robbie Matthews, he has done himself the club and the city of Portsmouth very proud, showing great courage and a fantastic will to win attitude throughout the national championships. HOP coaches Colin Williams and Yinka Bello did a great job on preparing Robbie for the championship and the results have shown, we can only all move forward from here.

HOP is now getting ready for their next National Championship event, JABA finalist Josh Pritchard who will compete in the JABA National final on Saturday 21st May 2011, at the Passion Nightclub, Medway Valley Leisure Park, Chariot Way, Rochester, Kent, ME2 2SS.

Josh PritchardPritchard will take on the winner of National CYP Champion Jack Daniel (Kelly’s ABC) or England International Joe Mosopha (Middleborough ABC) on Saturday 21st May 2011. Pritchard had a good points win over much rated boxer Jez Smith from Bushey ABC, who he beat in the National 1/4 finals winning 8 – 6.

“Q” explained, Josh Pritchard is very disappointed not having to compete, but sometimes in a championship if no one has entered in that weight group form a different region, then when the tournament regions meet, and then there is no one to box”. Josh will have a tough bout in the final; however he has already beaten a top level boxer in the JABA National 1/4 final stages of the championship and knows what he has to do and the HOP coaches will have him ready for his National Final bout. Josh is a very determined young man, with a lot to offer amateur boxing, his commitment and dedication towards his boxing and the JABA Championship has been terrific and the H.O.P coaches are doing a great job with him. This will be the second time Josh Pritchard has reached this stage of the JABA Championship.