Anees Taj once again showcased his impressive punching power to claim the National Open Class ABA title.
Fighting in the 91kg category, the Watford boxer was on top in both his semi-final and final bouts as he eased to technical knockout wins, ending both fights in the second round.
The triumph adds to Taj’s previous successes which have seen him claim the Haringey Box Cup gold medal and National Elite Challenge belt.
Taj’s semi-final saw him come up against Paul Garnett, who arrived at the fight with an unblemished record.
The 20-year-old has little regard for records, though, and was on the attack from the first bell, landing a succession of powerful blows on Garnett who, in fairness, replied in kind in a well-contested first round.
Parity wouldn’t last long and Taj relaxed in the second round to put his opponent on the back foot with some sensible boxing which saw him connect with a number of fine combinations.
A particularly punishing overhand right resulted in Garnett receiving a standing eight count and, although he wanted to continue, his corner threw in the towel.
The final would pit Taj, who trains out of St Albans Amateur Boxing Club, against an opponent he has faced before in the form of Karolis Baubkus.
It would prove to be a brutal, if all be it short lived, title decider as both fighters opted to go on the offensive from the off.
While Kettering-based Buabkus was setting the tempo, it was Taj who landed the better punches and began to make serious inroads into his rival’s defence towards the end of the opening round.
A four punch combination provided the critical moment in the fight as Buabkus yielded to Taj’s superiority and hit the canvass.
Despite getting back to his feet, Baubkus was struggling and a further flurry from Taj saw the referee step in to end the fight.
The victory handed Taj his first National title and saw him become the first St Albans ABC member to hold the belt since 1986.
Source: Watford Observer UK