Army Boxers Prepare For Round Robin Tournament

The team will be facing talent from across the UK as well as some international opposition.

The Army Boxing team are looking to end 2018 on a positive note when they tackle the Regional Round Robin Box Cup.

They have been training hard at their home camp in Aldershot ahead of this weekend’s competition, where they will face off with boxers from Merseyside, Cheshire and the Southern Counties.

Corporal Alanna Nihell is in the light welterweight division for the team and she thinks the skill standard for the Army is very high.

She said: “The goal is to box for your country or win a national title. Everyone has different goals on the team but you have national champions, international boxers so the platform of the standard is very high.

“To come on our boxing team and just get a spot on it you have to be at that standard and it’s nice to see that we are at that standard where we can compete in world level competitions.”

The light welterweight is part of a boxing family as she is married to 2018 Army Sportsman of the Year Chez Nihell.

For Nihell, the sport is more than just a hobby: “We’ve got good competition coming down here so we’re in it to win it,” she said.

“It’s a profession. We are not here just to get out of our jobs. We’re here to box.”

As well as fellow English boxers, the Army team will be taking on a few fighters from Ukraine.

One of the Army athletes to do that is Corporal Shamim Khan. He is in the bantamweight division and says he is looking forward to the test: “I feel good. All the hard work is done.

"We’ve worked hard since September when we got back. I’ve had a few bouts so I’m feeling good to go. Most of us here, we excel when we are under pressure.

"The harder the opponents, the better we perform.

"That’s with me anyway so I’m looking forward to it.

Shamim Khan will be hoping to represent the Army with a win against the Ukrainian opposition.

Sergeant James Allen is the Lead Coach for the team and he is happy with the timing of the tournament, saying: “This was always the plan to get it done at the end of the second block before Christmas. It slots in ideal.

“We know in our heads that we can box three times in three days and at the back end of March, we will have to do it all again in the Elite Championships.

"It’s just given us that know-how and enough time to work on things if there are any downfalls. “

For Allen, the chance to prove how good they are against international talent is an exciting opportunity.

He said: “Our own team has got quite a few international boxers so they’ll know they are up against it, the Ukrainians will.

"Obviously, it’s a round robin competition with plenty of experience to be gained so they’ll be just as excited as we are.”