Boxing: Pacific visitors ready for Olympic test

Colin Caleb squares up to Astley VIP's Andrew Fleming

Caleb in battle mode

Boxing coach Ian Irwin tends to Joseph Deireragea during a break between rounds

Windermere and Ambleside boxer Kurt Ball (left) dodges a punch from Barrow's Reece Frankland

First published in Olympics 2012 news The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior News/Sport Reporter

KENDAL Dojo’s Olympic visitors from the South Pacific put their boxing skills to the test against some of the North West’s best on Friday evening.

Colin Caleb and Joseph Deireragea from Nauru both won their contests and fellow Olympic hopeful Andrew Kometq from Kiribati - who is training at Macclesfield ABA - made it three out of three for the southern hemisphere.

More than 200 people arrived at the Dojo for the boxing evening which saw ten bouts of junior and senior competition, while Fijian judo star Sisilia Naisiga upstaged home favourites David Groom and Michael Horley in the ring as part of a judo demonstration.

There was local joy for Kurt Ball of Windermere and Ambleside Boxing Club when he defeated Barrow’s Reece Frankland as the audience was treated to a great display of amateur boxing.

Lightweight Caleb was the first of the South Pacific boxers to take to the ring under the watch of London 2012 timekeeper Alvin Finch, but despite the bout going all three rounds, he came out on top against Astley VIP’s Andrew Fleming.

Kiribati’s Kometq had a fairly comfortable win against D Loughlin before one of the contests of the night saw welterweight Deireragea edge past Macclesfield’s John Watson.

Ian Irwin, coaching advisor to the Nauru Boxing Federation said Caleb and Deireragea had come a long way in their quest to reach the Olympics and said he was optimistic ahead of their qualification contest between March 21-26 in Canberra.

He added: “I am optimistic for their chances but they will be fighting Australians in their own back yard and they will have more support, competition structure and you have to think they have the edge.

“But Joseph and Colin will be ready physically, technically and psychologically and we hope they can make it to London in a few months time.”

Kendal Dojo head coach Mike Liptrot added: “We are getting used to hosting these events now and I think Friday went really well. It is great to be in a position to have athletes from three nations competing on the same night and hopefully before the Olympics we will have 15 athletes from 14 countries at the Dojo.”

Results: B Morrell (Lancaster) bt O Dixon (Workington); A Terrapat (Barrow) bt A Vasey (Macclesfield); Josh Fisher (Lancaster) bt Jack Dryden (Workington); Kieran O’Hara (Furness Catholic) bt A O’Donnell (Skerton); Kurt Ball (Windermere/Ambleside) bt Reece Frankland (Barrow); Callum Rodriguez (Skerton) bt Josh Morby (Furness Catholic); Colin Caleb (Nauru) bt Andrew Fleming (Astley VIP); Liam Hanrahan (Macclesfield) bt Ross Cooksey (Barrow); Andrew Kometq (Kiribati) bt D Loughlin; Joseph Deireragea (Nauru) bt Josh Watson (Macclesfield).

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