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The Highlights: 2 PARA Crowned 2018 Army Boxing Champions

The 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) are the Army's 2018 boxing champions...

The 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) are the Army's 2018 boxing champions.

It's the Colchester-based team's third win in the competition, which has been running since 1914.

Boxers from 3rd Battalion, The Rifles (3 RIFLES), meanwhile, were appearing in their first final.

Over eight bouts, however, it was the Paras who won 5-3 at the Army Combat Centre in Aldershot.

Click here if you'd like to watch all the action in full from Forces Network's live stream of the night...

The blue corner raced to an early lead, with chants ringing around the gym as 2 PARA, who've reached the final five times in the last 10 years, claimed all the first-half bouts to take a 4-0 advantage into the interval.

Things were a little tentative at the start. Bantamweights Rifleman Ricardo Gomes and Private Steve Daley spent some time finding their feet but Pte Daley appeared to have a little more in the tank and his movement was exceptional - handing the first win to the Paras.

Rfn Gomes said: "[He was] more skilful than I thought he was going to be.

"[He] controlled the range... [I] can have nothing to complain about, he boxed really well." 

The next bout went off like fireworks. Pte Aslan Kay and Rfn Robert Welch-Davison got off to a furious start in the lightweight division.

Army Major-Unit Boxing Final 2018

While the pace lessened over three rounds, it ended as a deserved win for Pte Kay.

It looked like the boys in blue had been told to go at it full pelt from the bell, as the next two bouts started in a similar fashion.

Light welterweight Pte Josh Brown earned the Best Boxer of the Night accolade for his fight against Pte Liam Jones.

And the big man Pte Michael Jennings surprised everyone with his quick-footed agility up against Lance Corporal Lewis Steel.

Army Major-Unit Boxing Final 2018

With a clean sweep of the first four bouts, 2 PARA sensed a first victory since 2002.

There was, however, a slight reprieve for 3 RIFLES after the break when an injury to Pte Connor Anderson handed Rfn Elliot Dillingham a walkover in the cruiserweight division, taking the score to 4-1.

A brilliant display from Aaron Goodwin in the light heavyweight bout earned him Most Gallant Boxer of the Night award but a split decision went the way of the blue corner - with Tony Jones, 11 years his senior, sealing victory for the Paras.

Army Major-Unit Boxing Final 2018

With the title decided five more rounds remained, with the next bout taking place over two.

Nick Owens targeted the body of Rfn Connor Severns early on in the heavyweight clash but a strong third round from the rifleman earned him the win, again on a split decision.

The final bout, between welterweights Danny Kelly and Ben Wilson, proved to be the fight of the night, with two very fluid boxers in a very close showdown.

3 RIFLES were again victorious in that battle, taking the score to 5-3, but it was 2 PARA who won the war.

2 PARA, then, are 2018's champions - but newcomers 3 RIFLES certainly made their mark.

Expect to see them back in the finals ring in years to come...

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