Gold Medalist winner Greg Bridet with HOP Coaches

The Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy (H.O.P) was celebrating this weekend after 2 Gold Medals and 2 Silver medals were added to their already successful season. H.O.P entered 8 boxers in this year’s International event, with 4 getting medals and all the boxers gave first class performances. The Harringay Cup, which took place at Alexander Palace in london is an International boxing tournament that last over 4 days with 3 days of competitive youth (17 & 19yrs) and senior boxing. Gold Medal’s for H.O.P’s (Heavyweight 91kg) Greg Bridet and female boxer Leanne Bourne (lightweight 60kg).

Harringey Cup Gold Medalist – Bridet had to beat Adam Thompson (Arena Peterborough ABC) Bridet used all his boxing skills to out maneuver his opponent with excellent footwork combined with boxing skill to win by a unanimous decision of all 5 judges. In the Final the next day Bridet used his power as he fired in with heavy rear hands and leading hooks to back up his opponent (Tom Gifford Empire ABC, Bristol) then in the second round a rear hand uppercut followed by a one two combination signaled the end as the referee waved the contest over and Bridet became the Harrigey Cup Champion 2011 and Gold Medalist.

Harringey Cup Gold Medalist – H.O.P’s second Gold medalist was Leann Bourne who took on Jessica Kull (Basel ABC, Switzerland) Bourne applied the pressure from the start to her European counterpart with lead hand attacks and then switching to the body, the relentless assault took its toll on her opponent as she started to slow down towards the end of each round allowing Bourne to run out a majority decision of the 5 judges.

Greg Bridet winning the gold medal

Harringey Cup Silver Medalist – Havant Academy teacher/ boxer Biola Kudus , had an exceptional Harringey tournament adventure as all his skills and ability was put to the test after three bouts over three day of all action. Kudus first took on Adrian Walsh (Southend ABC) in the Senior A, 86. After a close first round, Kudus put on the pressure, a thumping rear had dropped his opponent for a count of eight, then a second rear hand saw the referee waving the contest over in favor of Kudus. On the Saturday Kudus faced Jonathan Pomeyie (Empire ABC, Bristol) in the Senior A, 86kg class. Pomeyie attacked from the bell and put Kudus under a lot of pressure, Kudus replied with a heavy rear hand and lead hand hook combination, which signaled the end of the bout with less than a minute of boxing achieved. On the Sunday in the final Kudus faced Ricardo Slue (Fitzroy Lodge ABC) an opponent with a record of 12 bouts with 10 wins, after a very tough and entertaining three rounds of boxing Kudus lost the decision on a majority decision of the 5 judges.

Harringey Cup Silver Medalist – H.O.P’s Terry Singh took on Lawrence Morrow (Metropolitan Police ABC) Singh boxed well, using a good jab followed with hard rear hands to secure his place in the next days final and for a medal position. In the final Singh took on last years champion Thomas McKeogh (Hollington ABC) in the Senior Class B, 60kg division. This was a very rugged affair with both boxers trading punches and looking to work inside, Singh can be very proud of his bout as he ran out a majority loss to the 5 judges.

H.O.P’s hot prospect Mikey Ballingall had nothing to lose and all to gain as he took on all Irish Champion and European Silver medalist Dylan Carr (Ryston ABC, Ireland) at Youth C, 64KG division. Not to be overawed by his opponents reputation, Ballingall went for broke, the bout was non stop action for 4 rounds both boxers rising to the occasion. Ballingall was very unlucky not to get the decision as he went down on a majority decision of 5 judges.

H.O.P boxer Luke Sylvio (71kg youth) who faced Alexander Zaneski (Stord ABC), Norway Youth A, 71kg Division. Sylvio put in a great performance against his European counterpart only losing by a majority decision of 5 judges.

This years ABA of England Champion Natasha Cole moved up a class to compete in this years event and put in a champions performance against a much older and more experienced boxer with a record of 9 bouts 8 wins (Stephanie Louis-Fernand from Islington ABC) after three hard fought rounds Cole lost by a majority decision of 5 judges.

H.O.P’s bold Robbie Matthews, Senior C, 64kg division, won his quarter final bout against Karzan Salim (Stockholm City ABC) after a gritty performance, Matthews mixing of boxing and inside work was all to much for his European counterpart and Matthews ran out a unanimous points winner of 5 judges. In the Semi Final Matthews faced England International Sam Bowen (Earl Shilton ABC), both boxers let loose at a blistering pace from the start to finish of the bout, neither wanting to take a step backwards, after a very entertaining and exciting bout, Matthews lost on a unanimous decision of 5 judges.

H.O.P Boss “Q” Shillingford said: The whole H.O.P team did a great job; all the boxers gave it everything, they did Portsmouth City proud at an International event where we were well represented at the highest standard. It’s good to get our sportsman at these events and mixing with the best clubs in the country and other boxers in Europe. Greg Bridet has been plagued with injuries over the last season, but is now fully fit and back to form, we are expecting a very exciting season from him next year. Leeann Bourne has shown what she can do if she puts her mind to it, she worked very hard for her title. Michael Ballingall took on an opponent of very high caliber from one of the top clubs in Ireland and with a reputation to match. Robbie Matthews again gave the city his best, and nearly pulled it off. Luke Sylvio and Natasha Cole have experienced what lies ahead as they move up into the senior ranks of amateur boxing and can both be very proud of their performances. Portsmouth University Student Terry Singhagain put in a tremendous performance against last years gold medalist and Biola Kudus has had a great first season with H.O.P and has a lot to give the sport of amateur boxing, another exciting prospect.