Successful boxing bonanza delights uni coach Haniver

The University hosted another knockout night of boxing which saw some of the top amateur boxers from the south-east compete.

Adam Haniver

Adam Haniver

In front of a packed crowd the atmosphere lit up the Eastbourne campus as fighters and supporters arrived from across the coast.

The fight night was the second this year to be hosted by the university and it displayed the emerging talents from within the club.

Brighton University boxing coach Adam Haniver said, “We can put on a show whenever we want to here with the facilities. It is important we have the support of the university.”

The noise levels rose throughout the night as the crowd cheered on their fighters. At one point the racket from the fans grew too loud as the referee had to stop a fight and pled for them to be quieter so the boxers could hear instructions.

Haniver said, “The facility worked beautifully and it was perfect with a low ceiling as it created a right old roar as everyone got behind the fighters. I want to hear back on Monday morning to find out whether the locals enjoyed it in terms of our neighbours. It was electric in here.”

The university contested in five of the 10 bouts with impressive wins for Marcus Boden and Alexandra Frost whilst it was a hard-fought debut defeat for Charlie Caswell.

Caswell, a sport and exercise science undergraduate, fought strongly against another debutant in the form of Luke Jones from Bexhill. As the contest entered the final round each boxer had reason to believe they deserved victory but a quick-fire jab assault by Jones left the student with too much to do.

It was an emotional defeat for Caswell who was devastated after the judges’ decision but coach Haniver gave full credit to his young boxer who turned 19 on Sunday.

Haniver said, “Charlie Caswell boxed really disciplined and well and it could have gone either way.”

Frost convincingly defeated her opponent Ellie Booth from Portsmouth in a unanimous decision. Despite having head guard trouble, Frost was able to dominate the ring and pick off her tired opponent.

The win will fill her with confidence for the England trials later this month. Haniver said,

“She boxed a girl who has had 13 fights before and Frostie came into the ring with four at the time. The girl was a very classy operator and Frostie was able to beat her.

“She has got a trial for the England squad and all of the best girls in the area are going down. Although she is less experienced you can see that she is beating girls much more experienced.”

First year student Marcus Boden also won his bout in outstanding fashion against Folkestone fighter Abdul Ghaffour. It was Boden’s second career fight and he was able to force his opponent onto the ropes and attack with a fierce right arm.

Ghaffour fatigued quickly which allowed Boden to pick his man off with uppercuts to the head. Haniver added: “Marcus’s fight was a hell of a ding-dong and he showed a lot of heart to come through and win that.”

Two experienced university boxers lost their respective fights as Connor Sturt lost his last ever match before his move into coaching. Jamie Marshall came up against man-mountain Darren Gibbons from Lynn boxing club in the night’s final contest. The judges sided with the visiting heavyweight in a narrow decision.

Haniver spoke proudly of his fighters irrespective of their results. He said: “Not one person let themselves down and with some wins and some losses we were competitive in all of them.

“It showed the level that we are at and it says we are no longer just a university club. We are now competing with some of the top clubs.

“I think a lot of other universities turn their noses up at boxing but they are very supportive here. We are starting to come through and perform on the same level as the ABA clubs which is good to see as it is all coming together.

“To summarise it, although it is a bit of a cliché, watch this space.”