It’s a belting night for ring club

Heavyweight star is among guests as gym toasts progress of its young boxers

Thursday, 21st April — By Steve Barnett

St Pancras squad

The St Pancras ABC squad at the Nobu Hotel

HEAVYWEIGHT Derek Chisora was among the fight fans who attended a spectacular night of boxing at a lavish hotel in Marylebone recently as St Pancras ABC hosted their first dinner show in more than two years.

A 500-strong crowd packed into the Nobu Hotel in Portman Square to cheer on an exciting card featuring some of the best and brightest young talents from across the capital.

After the final bell of the evening had sounded, Saints’ head coach CJ Hussein ranked the action in the ring as “10 out of 10” – adding it had helped put the Kentish Town-based gym “firmly back on the map”.

“It was a fantastic turnout, I just wish that we could have accommodated more people,” said CJ. “Everyone really seemed to enjoy it, and we raised some vital funds for the club.

Christian Thomas

“When the Covid pandemic originally hit we were one of the first club’s in the country to cancel our show and close our gym. It’s been more than two years since we hosted a night like that. It’s definitely helped put the club back on the map.

“It was an outstanding venue, an outstanding night of boxing, with outstanding support, and outstanding food. It really was 10 out of 10.”

Five of the 11 bouts on the night featured St Pancras boxers, with the club recording four wins.

Praising the team effort behind the scenes, CJ added: “It takes a lot of time and patience to get our homegrown boxers ready, and to be able to compete at a high level.

“We’ve always had the talent within the gym, and now we’ve got a great team of coaches who are playing their part, too, and sharing that responsibility. They make sure that before anyone steps between the ropes, they have the fitness and the boxing IQ to be able to perform.

Heavyweight Derek Chisora with top St Pancras ABC prospect Jermaine Dhliwayo

“I want to thank all of our coaches for the hard work that they put in.”

With the season slowly coming to a close the Saints can certainly look back on a successful showing. Last month Christian Thomas won the London Elites division of the England National Amateur Championships after a string of fine performances.

Competing at 71kg, the 22-year-old stopped Timon Asiama-Southgate from Afewee Boxing Gym in the first round of his quarter-finals bout, before outpointing Bilal Berkoun from All Stars Boxing Gym in the semi-finals. Thomas then outpointed Martin McDonagh from White Hart Lane Boxing Academy in the final.

“To my knowledge, Christian was one of the most inexperienced boxers in the competition with just eight bouts to his name, but you would never have guessed it by the way he boxed. He was brilliant,” said CJ.

Another St Pancras ABC prospect celebrating was Jermaine Dhliwayo, 19, who won the London Boxing Intermediate Championships in February.

Related Articles