Gold for Challenger on England debut
TEENAGE boxer Ellouise Challenger picked up a gold medal in the first international boxing tournament held in Bristol for nearly 50 years.
The 16-year-old, representing her country for the first time, beat the skilful Leah Gallan of County Donegal, who had previously won a European bronze, in the England v Ireland contest at City Hall.
The event on January 26 was hosted by Fishponds-based Downend Boxing Club, in partnership with Bristol City Council, England Boxing and Western Counties Amateur Boxing Association.
A strong start from Ellouise forced Leah backwards making the Irish girl box evasively through their bout. Turning the pressure up throughout, the Downend boxer took a points decision.
Ellie is the national champion at her weight and before the bout said she was “so excited to be boxing for England for the first time, and in my own city”.
Tournament co-coordinator Craig Turner said it is the first time a boxing event had been held at the City Hall
He said: "We are honoured to host the event and showcase our city on the international stage.
"Bristol has a rich history of the sport, being traced back to 1780 and on to the current crop of talent that features in world honours today.”
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, who used to box himself as a youth, said: "This is the first event of its kind to take place in City Hall. I am committed to it being a space which can be open and it is a great example of how the space can be used by the local community.
"Boxing was a big part of my teenage years and taught me how to overcome set-backs, and I’m a firm believer in how sport and physical activity can improve people's lives."
The Mayor said there could be a “future Olympian” among the competitors.
Former WBC super middleweight champion Glenn Catley, who boxed against Marvin in his youth, was a guest at the event and the master of ceremonies was Dennis Stinchcombe of Broad Plain Boxing Club.
Ellouise had no time to rest on her laurels; joined by DBC team mates Kim Rowe, Morgan Baber and Georgia Williams, she was due to take part in the Golden Girl tournament in Sweden, from February 1 to 3.