Dewsbury's Maniar comes through tough test to reach national semi-finals

Young Dewsbury boxer Zaid Maniar booked his place in the semi-finals of the England Boxing National Championships with a hard earned points victory over Josh Kelly.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 9:00 am
Zaid Maniar and his training team.

In one of the KBW boxer's toughest fights in the competition, he was up against a much more experienced fighter who was aggressive from the start.

Zaid, in only his eighth fight, was under a lot of pressure, but once he got behind his jab he's was able to control his oncoming opponent.

He found his rhythm and was putting his combinations together beautifully. Kelly was still applying the pressure and landing with the odd few punches, but the cleaner and telling punches were coming from Maniar.

In round two Kelly came out with intent and again put Zaid under pressure, cutting off the ring impressively.

He aimed to trap Zaid against the ropes and let his hands go. Landing his combinations to both head and body, the Dewsbury boxer was trying his best to keep his opponent off, but Kelly kept the pressure on and would not let him settle, changing angles and coming in with eye catching combinations.

At the end of the second round both fighters knew the bout was even and would be all down to the last round.

Zaid was told in the corner to hold the centre of the ring and box from there and he took control. Kelly was trying to box round him and get in close, but Maniar was taking advantage of his long reach and kept his opponent at bay, having got to grips with Kelly's aggression.

Zaid was throwing short and snapping shots, rocking Kelly's head back. He was also working the body well, to slow the aggressive forward coming Kelly.

The final stages of round three saw both boxers just slug it out.

In what was his toughest test so far, the KBW boxer was awarded the bout via a split decision.

The fight took place at the Spartan Amateur Boxing Club in Cheshire.

Zaid now moves on the finals, which will be held in Nottingham this weekend.