Army Boxers Battle It Out With Elite Team Spots At Stake

The Army Individual Boxing Championships have taken place in Aldershot, with 17 titles up for grabs - and there was plenty at stake...

The Army Individual Boxing Championships have taken place, with 17 titles up for grabs.

There was plenty at stake in Aldershot, with some of the fighters looking to muscle their way onto the Army Elite Boxing Team.

The tournament is the highlight of some of the competitors' sporting careers - but can also put those with ambition in the sport on the pathway to greater success.

They're whittled down over three days of fierce competition, culminating in 17 intense and absorbing finals.

The Flyweight Development A final was an entertaining affair, with Chorley Nolan from 1st Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1RRF) rocking his opponent Macaulay Richardson with a clean shot to the head early in the first round.


Nolan kept the pressure on and come round three the fusilier forced his kingsman opponent into a standing count.

Both boxers went for it as the bout entered the closing seconds but it was the man in the blue corner who enjoyed a unanimous victory.

In contrast, the Light Heavyweight Development B contest was a far cagier affair.

Carnell Brown, of the Royal Signals, used his superior reach to great effect, keeping opponent Adam Miles at arm's length to secure the win.

Private Brown enjoyed success in last season's tournament and has been training with the Army Podium Squad this year at its headquarters in Aldershot.

Pte Brown told Forces Network beating the stubborn and determined Miles is another step forward in his boxing career, saying:

"I'm taking baby steps and I'm seeing progress. I'm trying to put my head down, keep focussed and see how far I can go."

Ben Rees-Davis has been with the Army elite squad for some time but this was his first appearance in this tournament.

The Cardigan lad is making his way back from injury but despite the ring rust, he blew away the cobwebs and the valiant Ross Simpson from the Royal Signals.

Catterick-based Simpson survived an initial standing count but as Rees-Davis set about the man in blue once more, the referee stepped in yet again.

This time, however, it was all over and the Welshman had his maiden Army Light Welterweight Elite title. Lance Corporal Rees-Davis was delighted but praised the bravery of the elite hopefuls, saying:

"It takes a lot of guts from these lads that are trying to get on the team [to box the elite fighters] and utmost respect to them."

Callum Hill is another athlete benefitting from training at the home of Army boxing in Aldershot.

The 2nd Battalion, The Rifles (2 RIFLES) man shaded his Welterweight Elite title showdown with Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) soldier Matt Wells by a split decision.

Wells got through a standing count in round three and despite some explosive exchanges neither boxer could land the knock-out blow, meaning it hinged on the judges.

Rifleman Hill was delighted with his victory and is already mapping out his future in the sport. He said:

"This is just the beginning for me... I just want to get better and better.

"Hopefully one day [I'll] box for England, get at least 50 fights under my belt. That's what I want."

It comes as Army star Ebonie Jones got through to the quarter-finals of the European Championships in Bulgaria, boxing for Great Britain.

Jones, who is serving with the Royal Engineers, beat her Hungarian opponent and will fight for a semi-final spot in the bantamweight competition on Saturday.

With so much talent emerging from the ranks, the only question that remains is whether an Army boxer could end up being a box office hit in the coming years.

More: New Army Boxing Coach Hopes To Take Forces Fighters To The Next Level