Hayes ABC are celebrating having a new London ABA novices middleweight champion among their ranks after Darren McKenna won the title at Bethnal Green's York Hall on Sunday.
McKenna battled his way through the North-West Division of the London Novices Championships two weeks earlier and he drew a bye through his semi-final of the 75kg Class B, for competitors with less than 20 contests under their belt.
Barking's James Marshall was his opponent in the final and after a scrappy first round in which McKenna struggled to find an answer to his opponent's awkward southpaw stance, his strength began to tell in the second round and he was beginning to hurt Marshall.
His power told more and more and in the third, with the Barking boxer having had to take a standing count, McKenna forced the referee to stop the contest to the delight of all Hayes supporters.
McKenna now goes on to box in the quarter-finals of the ABA Novice Championships on Sunday at Broad Plain ABC in Bristol, where his opponent will be the Western Counties champion.
Like McKenna, clubmate Andy O'Neill also won through to the London Championships and in his semi-final he faced Brian Lewis-MarneyofNew Addington in the 64kg Class A, for boxers with less than 10 bouts to their name.
After an even first round O'Neill started to fathom a way through his tall opponent's guard and by the third round established a comfortable lead to take the decision.
In the final his opponent was Paul Bowes of Repton, who looked very impressive in his semi-final.
O'Neill used his footwork to good effect in the first round, landing combinations against the tall, southpaw.
The second round was even, with the Repton boxer scoring well with counterpunches, but O'Neill began to tire in the third and Bowes took full advantage, eventually gaining a very close points decision.