Alanna Murphy, the 25 years old 64kg Irish representative at the 2010 World Championships in Barbados, on Sunday evening won the English ABA title in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, when she gained a convincing 12-8 win over Suzanne Hemsley who boxes out of the Huthwaite ABC and is the ABAE’s Development officer for Derbyshire and a two time ABAE champion. The two day event attracted large crowds to the Civic Centre in Mansfield (close to Sherwood Forest) , a town of some 67,000 inhabitants including current Olympic Swimming champion, Rebecca Adlington.
It was Murphy’s best performance for quite some time and she had to be at very best to overcome Hemsley, a doughty fighter ,who in her 28 years,has excelled at various sports. The former Loughborough University student holds 17 international caps for England at basketball, a 2nd place National cross-training championship 2006 (UKXTA), 3rd place in national indoor Ironman/woman cross-training competition 2006, was Midlands representative for netball, excelled at 100m hurdles high jump and relay contestant not to mention being a part time model.
Another ABAE Senior Elite title went to Hartlepool Catholic club boxer, Amanda Coulson (her 4th such title ) who overcame fellow GB Olympic podium squad member, Ruth Raper of Lynn B.C as convincingly as the 21:14 score suggests. Fans of women’s boxing will recall that for the first time in its then 116-year existence, the English Amateur Boxing Association’s finals included a women’s title fight back in 2005 when England’s ‘star fighter’ , Amanda Coulson, then a 22 years old, who boxed at light welterweight, met – and defeated – Alanna Murphy at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands .
Now some six years on from that historic evening both Coulson and Murphy are ABAE champions of 2011 and both continue to hope for a place in the 2012 Olympics also scheduled for the Excel Centre though Coulson’s chances are considerably brighter than Murphy’s since the Irish representative, will clearly be Katie Taylor. The Great Britain squad has four excellent boxers at this division and only one can be chosen to go to the 2012 World Championships , the only female Olympic qualifying tournament .
Only the top eight boxers from each of the three weights will go then go forth to London. No seeding so for example in the 60kg category it could well be that the world’s top two,currently Katie Taylor and Sofya Ochigava could clash in the first fight ….assuming they qualify for London that is!
GB’s quartet fighting for that one place are , Coulson; recent European Union gold medallist at 64kg Natasha Jonas from the Rotunda Club in Liverpool; Chantelle Cameron the 19 years old Northampton ex-kick boxing champion and Ruth Raper, another young 19 years old from Lynn BC. All are exciting prospects – indeed the clash between Jonas and Coulson in the first ever GB Championships in Cardiff last November was rated one of the best amateur bouts of the championships (male or female).
Alanna Murphy though has another claim to fame too – as a 16 years old back on 31 October 2001, the then Alanna Audley took on a young 15 years old Bray schoolgirl at the National Stadium in the first ever I.A.B.A sanctioned women’s fight in Ireland . The younger girl won 23-12 and many of those present predicted that if ever women’s boxing ‘took off’ big time the young Wicklow girl ‘would do good’ . Three world titles, four European titles , four European Union titles later that prophecy has been fulfilled by one Katie Taylor. Murphy went on to win Bronze at 64 kg in the 2007 European Championships.
Women’s boxing receives little mainstream media coverage in England – as in Ireland – though things are improving but you can see all the ABAE Senior finals here on Hatton Boxing’s TV Player via
Well worth watching the Murphy v Hemsley fight at about 48 minutes into the 80 minutes programme and the Coulson v Raper clash at about 35 minutes
ABAE Senior Finals Results:-
51kg : Nina Smith (Chadwell St Mary) defeated Tania Anthony (Chadd) 27:9
54kg :Lauren West (Ernie Oxers) defeated Rachel Bower (Met Police) 30:29
57kg : Lisa Whiteside (Larches and Savick) defeated Rebecca Donnelly (Gravesham) 17:3
60kg :Amanda Coulson (Hartlepool Catholic) defeated Ruth Raper (Lynn BC) 21:14
63.5kg :Alanna Murphy (C.S.B.A ) defeated Suzanne Hemsley (Huthwaite BC) 12:8
75kg : Lucia Gaetani (Sweatbox) defeated Kayleigh Hayes (Everton Red Triangle) 11:8