Mixed fortunes for Plymouth boxers Jack Bellingham and Chris Adaway in senior ABA championships
JACK BELLINGHAM fights for a semi-final place in the senior ABAs on Saturday, but for fellow Plymothian Chris Adaway there is only disappointment at missing the glory end of the National Championships.
Light middleweight Bellingham, of Pilgrims ABC, claimed a points verdict over Reading opponent Asina Byfield in the élite pre-quarter-finals in Berkshire last weekend.
But Mayflower ABC featherweight Adaway was stopped in the second round of his bout with Reece Ballotti.
Body shots from Ballotti sent the skilful and gutsy Adaway to the canvas three times before the referee called a halt to the contest.
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The third stomach punch had a suspicion of a low blow about it, according to several observers ringside, although Mayflower had no complaints, just sympathy for their talented boxer.
It leaves the seemingly ever-improving and impressive Bellingham as Plymouth's sole representative at the world-famous British boxing competition.
Bellingham, said Pilgrims boxing trainer Glyn Mitchell, boxed brilliantly in the first two rounds and should have come away with a unanimous and not a majority points verdict.
Mitchell said: "Jack's opponent had just one thing on his mind and that was to go through, or try to, Jack's jab and beat him up.
"Jack wasn't having any of that and kept Byfield at range with a ramrod straight left, which frustrated the other fellow.
"It's another brilliant result for Jack, who has already claimed one national title this year and is in the mix to win another."
Senior novices champion Bellingham's opponent this Saturday in Surrey's quarter-finals is another national title holder and also originates from the West Country.
Brad Paul, formerly of Newquay, is now with the Golden Ring club at Southampton and has won the NAYCP title this season.
"I know Brad from his time at Newquay, mainly and he's a good lad and like Jack a keen learner," said Mitchell.
"Brad's a banger and throws explosive punches in bursts of threes and fours. We'll have to be on top of our game.
"There are no easy contests at this stage as two British title holders meeting in the quarters and last year's champion in this division (Kelvin Fawaz) going out clearly shows."
While Bellingham boxes on, Adaway's camp offered their best wishes to the Pilgrim pugilist and were philosophical about their boxer's fortunes.
Coach Steve Clarke said: "It's very tough on Chris as he was doing well and boxing within himself, despite going down with body punches.
"Chris was distraught afterwards, as you can imagine. He has worked so hard on improving to reach this far.
"That's sport. He'll bounce back and we'll have him out boxing again as soon as we get the chance to find a good enough opponent for him."
Clarke said he may consider bringing down Ballotti for a rematch with Adaway on the club's dinner show at the Duke of Cornwall on Friday, May 17.