Worth his weight in gold! Jernair wins title for third year in a row
29 June, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
Jernair Thompson celebrates his win at Alexandra Palace with St Pancras head coach CJ Hussein
TOP amateur boxers from across Camden and Islington stepped between the ropes to showcase their skills over the weekend as they made a bid for glory at the Haringey Box Cup.
When St Pancras ABC boxer Jernair Thompson marched into the tournament at Alexandra Palace the organisers may as well have had the gold medal ready and waiting for him. That’s because on Sunday the 29-year-old Saints stalwart couldn’t hide his delight as he won the title for the third year in a row.
Having been victorious twice before at 60kg, this time Thompson packed even more of a punch as he tackled the three two-minute rounds at 64kg in the Senior B class.
The action got underway on Friday as he outpointed Keith McEvoy from Portlaoise BC despite putting in “a ring-rusty” performance. He then beat Conor Jennings in the semi-final on Saturday, before earning a majority of the five judges’ votes in the final as he beat Jag Briah from Kings Heath BC 3-2.
Saints head coach CJ Hussein said: “In his opening fight Jernair looked a little nervous, but by Saturday he had clearly blown off any cobwebs. In the final he was brilliant, absolutely faultless. He displayed a variety of punches, and looked super-fit.”
Islington Boxing Club showed their strength in depth by taking a team of eight to the competition.
Islington Boxing Club welterweight Slavisa Gegic
Welterweight Slavisa Gegic led the charge as he powered his way to a gold medal to stretch his unbeaten record to 18-0.
Competing in the Under-69kg Senior B class, Gegic defeated Legacy ABC’s Fynile Judd via a unanimous decision on Friday, before winning on a 4-1 split against All Stars ABC’s Xavier Akinsete on Saturday.
That set up an intriguing final against fellow Londoner Timon Asiama from Cuban Boxing Academy.
Just six weeks ago the pair were on the same team representing London, and became friends. But that friendship was set aside on Sunday with Gegic knowing that he would have to be at his best to get the better of Asiama, a slick southpaw with a confident Cuban style.
The Islington man started brightly as he found his range in the opening round, and then in the second he caught his opponent with a devastating left hook that would have sent Asiama to the canvas had the referee not caught him.
The contest was rightly stopped, handing Gegic a victory that means Islington Boxing Club has now claimed a gold medal at the Haringey Box Cup each and every year since it first started back in 2008.
Club manager Reggie Hagland said: “Slavisa is one of, if not the most dedicated boxer at the club, and is showing great potential. He strives to do better as each contest passes and deserves to do well.
Jay Jay Curtin
“We know it won’t be easy to keep his unbeaten run up, and that eventually he will be beaten, but hopefully not during any of the championships we’ve got coming up.”
Islington were also celebrating a triple silver success. Competing in the Under-69kg Senior Elite class, Lamin Conteh defeated Simeon Hepburn from Earlsfield ABC in Friday’s quarter-final via unanimous decision, before overcoming Gloucester City ABC’s Brad Ingram 4-1 in the semi-final.
The final proved a bout too far for Conteh on this occasion as, despite showing good shot selection and speed throughout, he was beaten by Jacob Gabriel from Basingstoke ABC.
Club-mate Masood Abdulah also returned home with a silver medal after narrowly losing his final 3-2 against West Ham Boys ABC’s Jawany Scott in the Under-60kg Senior B class.
Islington’s Jay Jay Curtin was involved in one of the most exciting contests of the day when he defeated Repton ABC’s Khalid Ali 3-2 in the semi-final of the Under-64kg Youth A class.
He was defeated in Sunday’s final, however, as experienced England international Henry Turner from Hoddesdon Boxing Academy won via a unanimous decision to take the gold.
Despite missing out on the medals, Islington trio Ewan Jenkins, Laura Weis and Tessa Jones all gained valuable ring experience. Junior boxer Jenson Curtin, 14, was also in action as he competed in the Haringey Box Cup Youth Day, losing on a split decision against National Schools Champion, Ronnie Nickolds from Hoddesdon Boxing Academy.