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Break for West Midlands' Schools champions

Staffordshire | Sport | Published:

West Midlands champions come in fresh from a weekend off when the national quarter-finals of the England Schoolboys competition take place on Sunday week.

The area title holders were decided at the YMCA on Sunday, with a healthy contingent of Black Country fighters still in the hunt,

writes Craig Birch.

And the combined sections of Merseyside & Cheshire now have to take on the North-West in pre-quarters this weekend to determine their opponents.

They will then be matched for the next round at the Great Barr Leisure Centre in Birmingham, to make up the last four in each category.

The youngest entrants in tournament boxing are in the 'minors' – born in 2003 – where three were in action last weekend across the weights.

Walsall Wood's Reece Zingal defeated Charlie Gassey, from Hall Green in Birmingham, at 34kg to seal his passage through.

Reece Zingal with Walsall Wood trainer Shaun Healy (left) and his son Sam.

Sandwell and Dudley collided at 38.5kg, with Priory Park's Awais Ali coming out on top against Wednesbury's Chad Smith.

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Imann Khan, from Merridale in Wolverhampton, is out after going down to Eoin Quinn, from Christ the King in Coventry.

Walking over with no opponents to box were Walsall Wood duo Hamza Uddin (29.5kg) and Billy Chard (35kg), Wednesbury's Brindley Smith (31kg) and Priory Park's Kyle Chumber (32.5kg).

In Class A (2002), Wednesbury's Jagbir Mann came through a packed 35.5kg category to be top dog.

Four had come and gone before it came down to Mann and Brummie lad Ideel Hussain, who had ousted Richie Carter's protégé Terry Quinn in a box-off on the Friday night.

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Wednesbury's Jagbir Mann (left) is the last man standing with his Dad Paul.

Mann then produced an excellent performance to see off Odells' Hussain to emerge from a hotly-contested division, which could only get tougher in the nationals.

Pleck's Spencer Hurst is still waiting to contest his 40kg West Midlands final against Birmingham City's Louai Ali, which has been rescheduled for this weekend.

Wednesbury suffered a triple disappointment up the weights in Class A with Reon Shirley (41.5kg), Bevan Smith (43kg) and Reece Collett (48kg) all bowing out.

All three were boxing in the competition for the first time with Shirley coming up short against Hall Green's Joe Collins, while Smith lost to Christ the King's Huey Malone.

Collett was thwarted by Birmingham City's Jack Byrne. Wodensborough's Cole Lee, the West Midlands rounds' only first-round stoppage winner, had a bye at 50kg.

The most senior is Class B (2001) where Priory Park's James Mongan and Merridale's Raheem Mohammed battled through last weekend.

Mongan did the shuffle with Hall Green's Muhammad Ali at 40kg and prevailed, while Mohammed took a split decision against 48kg rival Lewis Proffitt, from Stoke Staffs.

James Mongan celebrates with Priory Park Boxing Club - after beating Muhammad Ali!

Merridale's Muin Khan was stood in the ring to box at 50kg, only for his opponent Jack Booker to be pulled out of the contest.

Atherstone's Booker could not wear the correct gum-shield due to a bottom brace, which the referee decided was too dangerous.

Pleck's Lewis Morris could not nudge Tamworth's Patrick Doherty at 44.5kg. Rugeley Police's Myles Basford walked over at 56kg.

Merridale and Stafford's Right Stuff are also still involved in the female side of proceedings, 'the Schoolgirls,' on the Class B line-up.

Merridale have Kara Murray (62kg) and Simran Kaur (43kg) debuting in the competition while the Right Stuff's Phoebe Hodson, from Stone, is at 54kg. All have byes to the national stages.

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