Army Boxing Captain Defends English Super Heavyweight Belt

Army boxing captain Chez Nihell has won the super heavyweight English Title Series belt for the third time.

The lance corporal was last to fight on a mixed card of nine bouts, in which two other Army boxers and a Royal Marine all recorded victories at an international boxing event in Catterick.

As ever with super heavyweight contests, it was a battle of attrition, with the Army captain pursued around the ring over three rounds of bruising punches.

But the military man ultimately proved to be more mighty, beating England's Hosea Stewart by unanimous decision and lifting the title belt for the third time in a row.

Chez may have been the main event but before him there were eight other bouts involving boxers from the Army, Navy, England and Finland.

Arguably the fight of the night was between Royal Marine Jack Stringer - the only Navy boxer on the card - and Santeri Laine, a Finland national champion at 75kg.

Jack, who is a current English title belt holder at the same weight, won on a split decision and was named boxer of the night - his opponent was named most gallant boxer.

Boxing competition

Other notable winners included Shamin Khan - the 27 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps soldier showing off his dancing feet - and Royal Welsh Lance Corporal Ben Rees-Davis against an awkward Finnish southpaw.

Thanks to them, the Army came away with a 2-2 draw against Finland, with Josh Plummer and Natalie Coles both losing to unanimous decisions.

The Army was hoping to come away with a win in their matchup against Finland but two apiece was ultimately a fair reflection, with Gunner Tori Ellis Willets also going down to a scrappy opponent from London boxing club Evolve.

LCpl Chez Nihell's showpiece event capped off another sensational night of military boxing, however. He said:

"To do it [retain the belt] at Catterick is a massive honour... It's wicked."

LCpl Ben Rees-Davies was happy to have got through a tough bout. He said:

"I was up against it really [but] I just knew I had to perform and do as I was told by my coaches, and get the job done really."

Alongside the military boxers, the crowd were also treated to two stand-out England-Finland match-ups.

There was a tough physical encounter between Elina Gustafsson and England's Hannah Shield, with the former eventually coming out on top.

Olympics bronze medallist Mira Potkonen beat England's Paige Murney, meanwhile.

Hannah Shield said:

"It's great to have boxed for England. It's the biggest achievement... [and] all I've ever wanted."

"Not to get the win is absolutely gutting but to put the vest on is just absolutely fantastic, and if we can lift women's boxing higher [then] that's exactly what we want to do.

"So let's get out there and smash some people, girls, come on!"

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