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Kingfisher boxer in ABA final four

PUBLISHED: 13:38 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:40 30 June 2010

AT Lynn Leisure Centre, King's Lynn played host to the senior national ABA semi-finals. Local interest came from Paulius Maciulevicius of Kingfisher ABC who met Tom Baker of West

Ham at under 71kg over three, three-minute rounds.

AT Lynn Leisure Centre, King's Lynn played host to the senior national ABA semi-finals. Local interest came from Paulius Maciulevicius of Kingfisher ABC who met Tom Baker of West

Ham at under 71kg over three, three-minute rounds. At stake was a place in the national finials to be held at York Hall, Bethnal Green on May 14.

Baker was standing tall as he reached out with long straight punches and was always on the move away from his opponent while Maciulevicius stalked the West Ham boxer relentlessly around the ring. Always going forward, Baker had little respite as Maciulevicius launched attack after attack. The first round ended fairly even with Baker picking up point when Maciulevicius moved in and the Kingfisher boxer scoring well working inside.

The second round showed a marked change in tactics from Baker. As Maciulevicius moved in from the long straight rights Baker, instead of trading punches at close range, clamped hold of his opponent until separated by the referee. Despite this Maciulevicius looked the fresher boxer as the both walked to their corners at the end of the second round. The constant pressure had had its effect on Baker.

The final round started at a furious pace with Maciulevicius right on top of Baker from the bell. With both boxers exchanging punches the advantage switched from one to the other. Baker still in the lead, but tiring, repeatedly held on, eventually forcing the referee to deduct a point for persistent holding.

Restarting with seconds to go Maciulevicius launched a two-fisted attack that pinned Baker in his own corner. Baker's gum shield came out and in the time it took to retrieve, clean and replace itBaker got the break he needed to recover and see the round out to the final bell. Despite a tremendous effort in the last round from Maciulevicius Baker just held on to book his place in the final.

The crowd showed their appreciation to both boxers with a standing ovation. It's a great achievement for any boxer to be one of the final four in the senior ABA competition and bodes well for the future as this was the first year for the Kingfisher boxer at this level.


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