Vanzie rocked by early ABA exit

BOXER Ashley Vanzie saw his title dreams come to an abrupt end last week as he was beaten in his opening Amateur Boxing Association championship bout in Liverpool.

The Dewsbury-trained fighter thought he had won his first three-round fight against Reece Shagourie.

Vanzie landed a telling right hook in the opening round and rocked his opponent, before continuing to punish Shargourie without taking much damage for the remainder of the fight.

But he was left stunned when his Islington opponent was announced the winner by split decision.

He had targeted the title after being seeded number two in his 75kg weight class, but it was left to number one ranked Anthony Fowler to claim the middleweight championship.

Vanzie said: “I was looking forward to the next day and having my next fight but I was left aghast when he was announced the winner.

“I have had over 60 fights so I know when I have won a fight and I felt comfortable throughout.

“I know that I have Martin Bateson in my corner who is experienced, he would have let me know if I wasn’t doing enough to win.

“There have been occasions before where he has had to prompt me to do more work, but this was not one of them.

“It is what it is but obviously I am devastated, as soon as the split decision was announced I knew what was coming.

“To make it worse Anthony Fowler, who only had to fight twice to win, was given boxer of the tournament ahead of some brilliant boxers.”

The Leeds Met student said he will fight until the end of the season before making a decision on his future in boxing.

He begins his return to ring action at the KBW gym home show in two weeks, where he will face ABA runner-up Troy Williamson. Vanzie will then be taking part in the Haringey Cup on June 20 before travelling to Ireland for the Celtic Cup.

The Leeds Met sportsman of the year could also have a shot at the University World Championships.

“I will not look back now, only forward. I want to finish the season with some big wins,” he continued.

“I will be boxing some of the Great Britain boxers and also Reece Shagourie again, so it is a chance for me to make a statement.

“I know I’m good enough for the Great Britain squad and the fact that I have been ranked above some of them shows that.”

As for his future in boxing he added: “There is always the option for me to turn professional.

“I wanted to be a top amateur and compete at the Commonwealth and Olympic games, but with this loss that chance has probably gone.”

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