Burnley boxer Crawford sees off best to win big in Hull

Joe Crawford
Joe Crawford

England international boxer Joe Crawford fought his way to victory in a prestigious event.

The former Sandygate ABC youngster came away from the Hull International Box Cup at the weekend as gold medallist and 54kg champion for 2017.

Boxers came from as far afield as India and Australia for the three-day event with Crawford having to see off some stiff competition to take the title.

Having received a bye to the semi-finals Crawford was then drawn against the reigning Scottish champion and European squad member Darrell Russell of Highland ABC.

Crawford got the better of their previous contest in the Great Britain Schoolboy semi-finals last year and dominated with his jab from the start and took the opening round with some slick work.

Russell continued to press forward but Burnley’s Crawford, attached to Queensway ABC and under instruction from his England coach David Hodkinson, kept his cool.

The Scot came out firing in the third and final round but it proved too little, too late, the telling blows coming from Crawford who took the victory 4-1 according to the five judges watching on.

The final pitted Crawford against highly-regarded reigning England 52kg champion Louai Ali form O’Dells Boxing Academy in Birmingham.

Ali, a heavy-hitter who had stopped his last four foe, unloaded early on but the Burnley fighter matched him punch-for-punch.

The Birmingham fighter continued to press forward in round two and had some success only for Crawford to get back to his boxing and counter with some crisp combinations and neat footwork.

It was all set up for what was a thrilling final round and with Ali applying the pressure he drew Crawford into a brawl but again the sharper work came from the former Sandygate youngster who prevailed 4-1 for a big win.