Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Calum Wins Belt despite His Early Clash of Heads; Broken Nose and Cheek Bone Not Enough to Halt French's March to Title

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Calum Wins Belt despite His Early Clash of Heads; Broken Nose and Cheek Bone Not Enough to Halt French's March to Title

Article excerpt

BRAVE Calum French lifted the biggest prize in domestic boxing at the England Boxing Senior Elite Championship finals at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

The Birtley boxer claimed the 60kg championship belt grabbing a split points decision over Cory O'Regan (Bradford Police and College) in the final, despite the fact that a clash of heads in his opening bout had fractured his cheek bone and broken his nose.

A second North East success saw Kiaran MacDonald similarly edge a split decision over Steel City's Sunny Edwards at 49kg.

I'm so proud doing it he did and style, moaning excuses Graeme Calum became Senior Elite champion for the second year in a row and at two different weights having won in the 56kg category the year before.

"When you think that Calum fought eight rounds with those injuries it is testament to how much the lad wanted it and how strong his character is," said Birtley head coach Graeme Rutherford. "I'm so proud of him doing it the way he did with class and style, never moaning or making excuses in case he was beaten.

of him the way with class never or making "You could see his nose was a mess but the extent of the injury was hidden by him. There is pressure defending your title and at a higher weight yet he triumphed magnificently." French first defeated Rory Lavery (Salisbury) in his quarter-final.

Rutherford "He was winning easily until a nasty head clash left his nose all over his face and he was left on unsteady feet for the rest of the fight," said Rutherford. "Although hurt Calum was always in control catching his opponent with back hands and left hooks and he was at his elusive best."

Next up was Jake Clarke (Golden Ring), a Novice under 10 and 20 champion who had stopped one of the favourites Ryan Fillingham with a body shot and had a reputation as a big puncher but he, too, was beaten on unanimous points.

Bradford College's Cory O'Regan, an England international and No 3 seed, was French's final opponent.

"Calum looked in control from the start landing good back hands and screw shots through the middle," said Rutherford.

"In the second Calum cut the ring down and dictated the pace as he settled into his stride with long shots and right hooks. …

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