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Kelsey Oakley delighted to be national champ

Delighted Dudley boxing ace Kelsey Oakley hailed the “best feeling ever” after being crowned a national senior champion.

Kelsey Oakley
Kelsey Oakley

The 18-year-old Priory Park ABC fighter is now a five-time England Boxing title winner after claiming a unanimous decision over London Community Boxing’s Ella Harris in the final of the under-48kgs category.

Oakley’s win was broadcast live on the BBC website together with the rest of the national senior finals, the pinnacle of the domestic amateur sport.

She said: “It is amazing, all the hard work has paid off. This is the best feeling ever.

“I picked my shots and did the best I could. I worked on everything we did on the pads. I feel very proud. I am thankful to my coaches for the time they put into me as well.”

Oakley, along with every other finalist, will now be assessed by GB Boxing coaches at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

“Hopefully she will impress and go on to another stage,” said Priory Park coach Warren Davies. “She has already represented England several times and will do so again next month in the Three Nations event, as a result of winning the title.

“But GB is obviously another step up and she will be eager to make an impression. She has the potential to go far.”

Oakley’s achievement was particularly notable for the fact it came during her first year competing in the elites.

“Kelsey is a really naturally talented boxer,” said Davies. “On top of that, she picks up everything you tell her very quickly.

“She listens. She doesn’t just do her own thing and always wants to put in extra work. The biggest step forward she has made is in learning to control her aggression and use it to her advantage.

“The exciting thing is she is still maturing physically and should get even stronger in the years to come.”

Her win also ensured Priory Park completed the impressive feat of having boxers win title at every age level of this year’s England Boxing tournaments, from the schools up to the seniors.

Davies added: “As a club, we are really pleased with how things have gone. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little worried how things would be, coming back after the pandemic.

“It was a step into the unknown but we have gone from strength to strength.”

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