BOXING - Fanthome impresses at National Elite Championships - The Redditch Standard

BOXING - Fanthome impresses at National Elite Championships

REDDITCH boxer Leo Fanthome suffered a close split decision defeat in the Midland semi-finals of the England Boxing National Elite Championships at Willenhall Social Club in Coventry.

Fanthome returned to the ring for the first time in four years back in December and won via unanimous decision before he claimed another victory earlier this year.

His early morning runs, circuit training and sparring paid off as the Redditch fighter dropped 16 kilograms in the space of five months to weigh in bang on the under-67kg limit.

Fanthome was drawn to fight a boxer from the Black Country in his first bout as he rose to the challenge to set the pace in the first round.

The Redditch man dominated throughout and landed some heavy shots which eventually led to the fight being stopped as his opponent suffered a badly cut eye that was caused by a punch.

And Fanthome was back in the ring the following day to take on formidable opponent Waqas Ali who won last year’s Development Championships.

Ali looked comfortable behind his jab as Fanthome countered well and moved out of range but it was the former who landed the cleaner shots despite some good overhand rights by the latter.

And Fanthome appeared to rock Ali in the second round with a powerful right hook as his opponent regained his composure and continued to come forward with a strong jab.

With the fight difficult to score, both boxers came out swinging and went toe-to-toe for the final minute as they traded punches at close quarters before the final bell sounded.

Despite a valiant effort, Ali was declared the win by split decision although Fanthome can take great pride in taking such a strong opponent all the way.

Fanthome’s coach Sarah Lee said: “Leo has pushed forward and covered so much ground in such a short time, this was seen in how well he performed.

“I am Blessed to coach such a talented and committed young man. Onwards and upwards, watch his journey, it’s going to be an exciting one.”

Fanthome represented D&A Boxing School Of Excellence in Stirchley and hopes to turn professional at the end of year with 27 amateur bouts to his name.

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