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Kian McDermott packs a punch to reach British title finale

Boxing | Published:

Black Country boxer Kian McDermott landed a knockout blow to book his place in this weekend’s NABGC Championship final.

James Willis and Kian McDermott

Brooklands ABC’s McDermott left Jibran Khan, of Doncaster Plant Work BC, on the canvas in the third round to end the 66kg Class A bout at Solihull’s Tudor Grange Academy on Sunday.

The 15-year-old is coached by dad Darren, who himself was a British champion, and has backed his son to follow in his footsteps in Saturday’s final in Bridlington.

“I’ve seen him have some great fights in his last four or five bouts but this tops it all,” he said.

“I think it was due to it being the semi finals and the atmosphere, it was a great performance.

“Now he’s through to the final, I have everything crossed for him. I was British champion when I was 14. Kian is 15, but I’ll let him have the bragging rights if he wins on Saturday.”

Brooklands ABC’s head coach revealed that his son Kian had been carrying a knock in the lead-up to the fight and battled through pain to win.

“Kian was absolutely buzzing after the fight,” said Woodsetton-based McDermott senior. “He boxed really well, boxed to instructions.

“He’d actually injured his toe in the lead-up to the fight, but he never moaned. It stopped him from running in the week, but I guess the adrenaline took him through.”

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However, Kian’s club-mate James Willis suffered a split decision loss to Clayton ABC’s Kian Morley.

Despite defeat, McDermott senior lauded the 16-year-old’s performance in the 66kg Class B last four bout.

“James was really unlucky – I thought he performed out of his skin,” said McDermott senior. “I thought he was hard-done by, it was a tough decision. The lad he fought was far more experienced – I think he had 67/68 fights compared to James’ 14.

“But James should be happy with his performance. It was his first time in the nationals, so to reach the semi-finals is a great achievement. He’ll be back though, there’s no doubt about that.”

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Meanwhile, 15-year-old Osama Mohamed also fell to a split decision in his semi-final clash.

The Lions Boxing Club prodigy lost in the 57kg Class A category to Sharpstyle ABC’s Levi Barnes, but coach Kevin Dillon was full of admiration for his young fighter.

“I’m always very proud of Osama, as a boxer and a human being,” he said. “He’s a great role model for all the young lads here.

“He has the attitude of a champion, he never complains or blames the judges. He takes everything on the chin. Osama tries so hard in and out of the ring. He’ll be back in training this week. He is a remarkable young man.”

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