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Unlucky Baker is pipped by a nose in big final

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For the second weekend running, Peterborough Police Amateur Boxing Club talent Alfie Baker was an unlucky loser.

A fortnight ago the 12 year-old from Stanground was robbed of the gold medal at the East Midlands Box Cup by some poor judging. Last weekend it was a nosebleed that scuppered his gold medal bid.

Baker received a bye through to Sunday’s 54kg final at the famous International Bristol Box Cup at the City Academy in Bristol and even though he was up against red-hot tournament favourite Mohammad Mehdi from the Dale Youth ABC, Baker fancied his chances.

And the Stanground Academy student certainly gave as good as he got for two rounds against an awkward southpaw who was this year’s national under 52kg champion.

There was nothing in it going into the last round but Baker was caught on the nose by a glancing shot which caused the ringside doctor to halt the bout due to his nose bleeding.

Dad and club coach Chris Baker said: “We were all extremely disappointed with the doctor’s decision, which was final.

“It was frustrating to lose a final like this. It was a good performance by Alfie against a really tough and quality opponent who we know we can beat in the future.”

Baker’s silver medal was one of three won by the city club at the big event, which was a schools tournament featuring some of the best boxers in the country.

Aamir Shirazi (12) from Ken Stimpson School turned in a skilful display to comfortably outpoint Jed Baker from Torbay ABC at 32kg in his semi-final on Saturday.

But in Sunday’s final he found tournament favourite Alfie Rourke from Rourkes ABC a tougher nut to crack and just came up short in a really tough contest.

Shae Gowler (13) from Stanground Academy was the third silver medallist. He picked up one of the best wins of his career in his 38kg semi-final when outclassing Esah Mudassah from Laisterdyke ABC. Mudassah was much more experienced and this year’s national finalist.

Next up for Gowler in the final was William Coveney from Rumbles ABC and the two of them both caught the eye in a very skilful and very close contest.

It was Coveney, however, who nicked the points decision after connecting with more cleaner shots.

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Imraan Shirazi (13) from Ken Stimpson School just missed out on a final place when losing his 38kg semi-final to Recardo Jenkins from Kirkby ABC on points and had to settle for a bronze medal.

Shirazi was the more aggressive and the skilful one. However, Jenkins used his range and footwork well to claim victory.

Coach Baker concluded: “It was another really successful weekend of boxing for the club in a really tough competition – three silver medals and a bronze is not to be sniffed at.

“The organisers complimented me at the end on the way our boxers fought and how they conducted themselves over the weekend. That made me proud.”

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