Brilliant Belinda wins national title

Belinda Skinner (centre) with West Hill ABC coaches Dave Bishop (left) and Gary White
Belinda Skinner (centre) with West Hill ABC coaches Dave Bishop (left) and Gary White

A West Hill Amateur Boxing Club talent has won a national title within a year of taking up the sport.

Belinda Skinner produced a brilliant performance to beat Manchester boxer Victoria Boardman in her National ABA Championship class C 54kg female final last weekend.

The first round saw Skinner lay a barrage of shots onto her opponent which did not let up until Boardman hit the canvas. Much to the bewilderment of Skinner’s travelling army of support, the referee did not give Boardman a count, instead calling it as a slip.

Skinner continued the onslaught, though, and was not prepared to let her fate lie in the hands of the referee or the judges at ringside.

She moved up a gear in the second round and unleashed a flurry of strong, accurate punches which left the referee no option other than to step in and give Boardman a standing eight count.

This only served as encouragement for Skinner, who could sense victory. She again stepped up and bossed her opponent into the corner, subjecting her to some vicious shots to head and body.

The referee again stepped in to give a standing eight count, but this time he could see there was no more fight left in Boardman’s eyes and rightly ended the contest.

It was a great end to 2013 for West Hill, who are celebrating their 75th year in the town, and for Skinner, who had never boxed at the turn of the year but has since won a gold medal at the prestigious Haringey Cup and now has been crowned a national champion.