BASINGSTOKE boxer Jacob Gabriel’s run in the ABA Elite Boxing Championships has moved him into the top five in the country at light welterweight.
Three good wins earned him a place in the quarter-finals, which took place at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
Here he fought the Navy's Robbie Matthews, a former ABA finalist and highly rated boxer.
Gabriel, pictured right, boxed well on the move, using the ring and scoring with the more eye-catching shots.
The more experienced Matthews could not quite catch him and score enough to swing it his way.
All the judges were in agreement – making Gabriel a winner by unanimous decision, putting him into the semi-final the following day at the same venue.
This set-up a last-four showdown with Great Britain number one, home fighter Sam Maxwell, a seasoned international campaigner and former ABA champion.
This did not deter the Basingstoke Boxing Club fighter, who went into the ring a massive underdog, but was hungry for success.
He boxed as well as he could, but did not get the decision, as all the judges opted for the Liverpool boxer, who went on to claim the title the following day, beating last year’s champion Josh Kelly.
Gabriel’s run in the championships has moved him up into the top five in the country, and few expected him to get as far as he did, let alone push the champion so close in the semi-final.
To reach the last eight in Liverpool, Gabriel won the Southern Counties title.
He beat Woking’s Billy Allington and Brighton fighter Nick Frese from Moulsecombe Boxing Club to claim the title.
Gabriel then beat Eastern Counties champion, Sam Malone, who hails from Rayleigh in Essex.