Merseyside boxers won a record breaking seven titles at the National Amateur Boxing Championships in Derby on Saturday.

The seven championships won is the most ever for the Merseyside and Cheshire region under England Boxing, beating the previous highest of four titles in 2006.

Liverpool has a rich history in the tournament with the likes of Tony Bellew, Callum Smith, Peter McGrail and Anthony Fowler all winning it before turning professional.

No Limits’ Lucas Dube won the under 51kg category, beating Blackrod’s Umar Khan by split decision to lift his first national title.

Lucas Dube with supporters after winning NABC fnal - credit: No Limits
Lucas Dube with supporters after winning NABC final – credit: No Limits

Dube spoke to MerseySportLive about what it meant to have his hand raised after nearly a decade in amateur boxing:

“I don’t have words to describe how much joy and happiness I had inside me, I wish I could speak well enough to describe how happy I was just in that moment.

“It’s just, I’ve been boxing for nine, nearly 10 years and for most of my amateur career I never even thought I could get to this point.

“Just finally being there, just being crowned number one, it was overwhelming honestly.”

The Liverpool boxer, who has represented Merseyside and Cheshire on numerous occasions, was not surprised by the groups record breaking success.

“It’s amazing,” said Dube. “I’ve said for a couple of years we’ve definitely got the strongest region in the country.

“I am with the Merseyside and Cheshire squad quite a lot, I see how the lads train and I’m away with them on a lot of trips as well.

“I just know how talented we are, I’m not even surprised we’ve had the most wins. I’m honestly not surprised… I’m surprised we didn’t win more.”

Merseyside amateur boxing has been booming

Perhaps the standout boxer of the tournament was Everton Red Triangle fighter Lucas Biswana, who picked up the under 67kg title against Burton’s Ellis Panter.

The ‘ERT’ has a history of producing hard punching stars, with the likes of Nick Ball, Peter McGrail and Andrew Cain all coming out of the club.

Biswana looks to be another off the hard-hitting production line after stopping four of his six opponents in the tournament.

The Rotunda had another successful year in the championships with Callum Makin and Olivia Holmes both picking up their second consecutive national titles.

Makin picked up the under 71kg title for the second year running with a hard-fought 3-2 split decision victory over Harwich’s Rio Gordon.

Holmes won the 57kg title with a usual classy performance against last year’s champion Vivien Parsons from Afewee, winning a 4-1 split decision.

Halton’s Rhea Kanu won the under 48kg title with a relentless display against Kenton’s Bobby-Lee Burns, winning by unanimous decision.

Kanu dropped down two weight classes to lift the championship after losing out to Headland’s Megan Bainbridge in the under 52kg category last year.

Rhea Kanu - Credit England Boxing & James Fowles
Rhea Kanu wins NABC final – Credit England Boxing & James Fowles

Croxeth’s Oliver Jones continued his fine form in the final when he beautifully outboxed HoP’s Harvey Orriss, picking up a unanimous decision win and the under 63.5kg title.

JC’s Kai Birch continued Merseyside’s success in the under 54kg category – after Salisbury’s Kurt Wiggins won the title last year – winning a unanimous decision over Acocks Green’s Jaden Cayenne.

Merseyside’s seven champions was very nearly eight, after Phoenix Fire’s Luke Turner missed out on the 75kg title to Carlisle Villa’s Marc Haughan.

Turner, who was competing in his first national tournament as a senior, had produced a number of fine displays against England’s best and will certainly lift the title in the future.

Kai Birch - Credit England Boxing & James Fowles
Kai Birch boxing in NABC final – Credit England Boxing & James Fowles

(Featured image – Lucas Baswana – Credit: England Boxing & James Fowles)