DONCASTER cruiserweight Jamie Hughes booked his place in the Elite ABA finals at Colchester on Friday week when he registered a 20-13 points victory over local favourite Wayne Adeniyi at Everton Park Sports Centre on Sunday.
The 27 year-old southpaw, who won the Novice (under 10 bouts) title last year, took a little time to settle against his more fancied 28 year-old opponent who appears on the verge of making the transition to the paid ranks.
Adeniyi had reached the finals in 2009, but any chance of repeating the feat began to slip away in the second round, and despite moving more onto the offensive in the closing session, during which both men banged away to the head, he found Hughes’ lead too much of an obstacle to overcome.
Hughes, who won all three rounds, brought down the curtain with a pair of clubbing rights.
“It’s a massive achievement for both Jamie and the club,” enthused Highfields’ coach John Loosemore yesterday.
“We got the tactics right on the day, which we had to because Adeniyi was a tough lad, and Jamie did everything that was asked of him and more.
“We’ve only been going 10 years so to have someone through to the ABA finals is a tremendous boost for everyone connected with the club.
“Jamie hadn’t boxed before until he walked through the club’s doors three years ago, but we soon realised that he was a bit special.
“He’s worked hard and listened to advice and is now just one win away from being an ABA champion which would open a lot of doors for him in the sport.
“Ironically I only decided to enter him in the Elite ABAs after he lost in the Yorkshire final of the ABA Under-20 bouts Championships late last year with a cut eye after being accidently caught with an elbow.”
Hughes will take on tough Londoner Deon Jumah in the final, and Loosemore admits he will be a hard man to beat.