Sport

Huge Blow For Army Boxers Hoping To Extend Unbeaten Boxing Record

The Army boxers' hopes of extending their unbeaten record at the Inter-Services Boxing Championships into a 35th season have suffered a huge...

The Army boxers' hopes of extending their unbeaten record at the Inter-Services Boxing Championships into a 35th season have suffered a huge blow at the semi-final stage.

As they faltered in Aldershot it was the light blues of the RAF who prospered.

They will have three boxers in the finals of the Inter-Services for the first time in over 20 years.

There was something of an upset in the 56kg category as the Air Force's Ricki Lyon stunned the Army's experienced Shamin Khan by sending him to the canvas in the second round.

British military Inter-Services Boxing Championships semi-finals 2018

Khan looked to recover but was perhaps guilty of trying to force the issue. By the end, his Army teammates pondered if he'd done enough.

The answer was 'no' - and it was Lyon who moved into the final, as the RAF continues to make progress at Inter-Services level.

Senior Aircraftman (SAC) Lyon told Forces Network:

"This year we've had three-week training camps, unlike other years where it's been a lot shorter.

"We've been to London, York, sparring in all the top gyms, [we've] been at Team GB sparring for two days, so we've had loads of good preparation.

"I think they're going to be good bouts [on Thursday]... The RAF [have] got a very strong squad [and] very, very good chances of coming back with three combined services champions." 

Lyon's teammate Keiran Bailey survived a serious onslaught from Sapper Sam Webster in the 60kg battle as both boxers looked to progress.

But in another surprise, the judges deemed Bailey the winner.

The third airman to feature in Thursday's final will be SACTom Simpson. He enjoyed a bye into the forces boxing showpiece and is quietly confident of success:

"I'm happy. I'm really looking forward to it, to be honest... I feel like the pressure helps me perform." 

But the main threat to the Army's unbeaten run is from the Senior Service.

Its boxers have been banging on the door for several seasons and Luke Fisher's victory over Peter Love at 69kg means the Navy will have a full line up of eight boxers in the final, compared to the Army's five and the Air Force's three.

All unbeaten runs come to an end and Thursday could see a change at the top.

Think it'll be the Navy's year? Make sure to follow our live coverage on the night to find out!