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Haringey Box Cup returns to Alexandra Palace for seventh edition

PUBLISHED: 09:46 19 June 2014 | UPDATED: 19:41 23 June 2014

Host club Haringey Police are preparing to take part in the Haringey Box Cup at Alexandra Palace. Back row (left to right) : Coach Brian John, captain Kingsley Okolie, Kiev Del-Dyer, founder and coach Gerry Willmott MBE. Front row: Zoheb Zuber, Oriance Lungu and David Kamara. Pic: Dieter Perry

Host club Haringey Police are preparing to take part in the Haringey Box Cup at Alexandra Palace. Back row (left to right) : Coach Brian John, captain Kingsley Okolie, Kiev Del-Dyer, founder and coach Gerry Willmott MBE. Front row: Zoheb Zuber, Oriance Lungu and David Kamara. Pic: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

The seventh annual Haringey Box Cup will take place at Alexandra Palace this weekend - and it continues to get bigger and better.

Around 440 boxers from all over Europe will take part over three days of competition - which is almost 100 more than last year – and that has required the use of a fourth ring so that more fights can happen simultaneously.

Former Box Cup winners include Olympic champions Anthony Joshua, Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams, who is still registered to the host club Haringey Police.

Gerry Willmott MBE founded Haringey and played a central role in starting the Box Cup, and he is delighted that it continues to go from strength to strength.

“The spaces for entrants filled up in two weeks,” he said. “It shows how popular it is and how much interest there is in grass-roots boxing.

“It’s the largest open boxing tournament in Europe and it’s something that everyone wants to be involved in. It gives them the chance to fight a few times in three days, which is a pretty rare opportunity.

“The pros all mention it now, it’s something they put on their CV.”

There will be another first this weekend as elite boxers will compete without headguards.

Meanwhile, Willmott will be keeping a close eye on Haringey’s own entrants, including Oriance Lungu, who won gold in her first Box Cup last year.

The 24-year-old won the title at Ally Pally after a convincing win over the talented kickboxer Stevie-Ann Levy from Heroes ABC in the final.

And, having gone on to win the Women’s National ABA Championships at 63.5kg in December, she will be hopeful of triumphing again this weekend.

The Haringey contingent will be captained by 27-year-old middleweight Kingsley Okolie, who has entered the 75kg category.

“He’s got a chance, as ever, as long as he avoids Bryce Goodridge,” said Willmott. “He’s 64ft 4ins and he beat Kingsley in the final last year.”

Haringey’s Kiev-Del Dyer, 25, will be fighting in the 75kg class, while 17-year-old Gutshy Gumanda is in the 71kg category – and 22-year-old Zoheb Zuber and 18-year-old David Kamara are both in the 67kg section.

“As long as the event goes smoothly that’s the main thing, but obviously we want our fighters to do well,” said Willmott. “Whatever happens, it’s a good experience for them – and for everyone else.”

Alexandra Palace will host a youth event today [Thursday], with 500-600 children expected from all over London for a community occasion that will include junior bouts and coaching.

The Box Cup itself then gets underway at 6pm tomorrow [Friday] and continues from noon on Saturday, culminating in the finals on Sunday.

For ticket information, visit www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/haringey-box-cup/

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