Imperial College Boxing returns triumphant - winning Gold and Bronze in the National BUCS Championships. The competition had 180+ participants from 50+ universities and colleges across the U.K. including top sporting universities such as Loughborough and Nottingham. It was the first time that Imperial sent out any fighters and we came back with two national champions! Shows that us scientists and engineers really can put up a fight ey!

Three of IC Boxing’s best, Aileen Cooney, Daniel Burridge and Spencer Song travelled to Staffordshire University last weekend for the three-day event. Accompanying them was Coach George Burton, ex-GB Olympic trainer, who has provided a tremendous support, discipline and passed down a heck of a lot of boxing wisdom to everyone he has trained.

The event began on Friday the 2nd followed by semi-finals and finals over the following two days. Burridge and Cooney made it through to semi-finals and finals, respectively, and an unfortunate disqualification made Song unable to continue through to the later stages.

“Cooney has a distinctive style, bursting with energy and fire”

Cooney, 24, from London/Ireland brought home Gold after an overriding win against Birmingham’s Mairi Kerin in the semi’s and a fiery, adrenaline-fuelled finale against Sheffield Hallam’s Dayna Antcliffe. Cooney’s record now sits at a 100% win-rate of 4 bouts and 4 wins.

Cooney has a distinctive style, bursting with energy and fire. She stepped forward and gained control in the ring by pushing the pace and keeping her opponent on the back foot. She took Antcliffe’s body-shots as if they were nothing and just continued to throw combination after combination - ducking, dodging and ending with her powerful right hook. The final round ended with a flurry of punches in the last 10 seconds of madness.

Daniel Burridge (Bronze medallist for Men’s Open, 69-75kg, 11-20 bouts), Imperial Coach George Burton and Aileen Cooney (Gold medallist for Women’s Novice, 54-57kg, <5bouts) // ICB

The judges made a Miss Universe style mistake, announcing the wrong winner before re-crowning Cooney as the true overall champion. (She was tremendously modest about the whole ordeal, even though it was indisputable that she had won the first two rounds).

Burridge, 19, from Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, took home Bronze after stepping up his game in a tough fight against 25-year-old, 3-time BUCS boxing champion, Adinoyi Ozigi, from Nottingham Trent Uni. Burridge put up a good fight going toe-to-toe against such a formidable fighter. His resilience outshone any other competitor - managing to fight his way through two gruesomely exhausting 3-minute rounds before being technically KOed – all with a smile on his face. (Although a doctor might say those punches just made him a bit loopy!)

“The final round ended with a flurry of punches in the last 10 seconds of madness”

Burridge still boasts an impressive record of 16 bouts. After only beginning his first year of Mechanical Engineering in October, he is looking to be one of the top prospects for IC Boxing Club. Song, 22, from China, made a great start, winning the first round by a longshot of his fight vs Harry Pendered-Mazer from Loughborough. He is notorious for his smooth moves – and by that, I mean he’s a constant moving target, so opponents find it near impossible to connect any punches to his face (nothing to do with his charming mannerisms).

Unfortunately, after the second round begun his long locks got in the way and the referee deemed it unsafe to continue, disqualifying Song for not having a ‘fresh’ enough trim. Coach George will be taking him to his local barbershop in Brixton before his next fight! Nonetheless, he fought extremely well and it was a real shame that he wasn’t allowed to continue as he was looking to be a real contender in making it through to the final stages!