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BLANE GAME; No fear for Hyland as top seed awaits.

Byline: BOXING by PHIL KIRKBRIDE

BLANE HYLAND insists he has little to fear as he faces up to number one seed Charlie Edwards in the semi-finals of the England Boxing Elite Championships today.

The Salisbury flyweight booked his place in the last four with an impressive win over Matt Windle yesterday afternoon at the ECHO Arena.

Hyland clashes with European Championships medallist Edwards this morning and the 19-year-old was quietly confident of sending shockwaves through the division with a win.

Edwards dragged himself off the canvas in his quarter-final against the Army's Shamin Khan but left the ring nursing a nasty cut across his nose.

By contrast, Hyland saw off Windle (Warley) in stylish fashion and defeated his Birmingham rival by unanimous decision.

Hyland said: "I haven't boxed since December and so I got a bit tired towards the end of the bout.

"I had to step it up and I managed to finish strongly.

"The big one is today when I face Edwards. But if you want to be the best then you've got to beat the best.

"We've got videos of him so we'll study Charlie before I box. But I'm ready now."

The Solly boxer is joined in the semis by club-mate Sam Maxwell who cruised through his light-welterweight bout against George Horner.

Maxwell squares up to Jacob Gabriel of Basingstoke later today but any hopes of an all-Liverpool final in the division were dashed in controversial circumstances.

Ryan Mulcahy lost against number two seed Josh Kelly (Houghton and District) on a hotly disputed split decision with many at ringside convinced that the Knowsley Vale man had done enough to make it through to the semis.

However Kelly, who beat Mulcahy in last year's ABAs, boxes again today leaving Maxwell as the sole local hope at 64kg.

"It wasn't my best performance and I couldn't get out of first gear," Maxwell said.

"But I got the win and I have to build on that now and there is more to come.

"Gabriel is more of a boxer than Horner so that will suit me and allow me to get back to what I'm good at which is throwing straight shots.

"You'll definitely see better from me today."

Leading middleweight Anthony Fowler joins the competition today after being handed a bye yesterday.

The World Amateur Championships medallist, who was at ringside to watch the quarter-final bouts, meets Jack Langford (Bideford) who picked up a win over Jack Cullen.

There was, however, disappointment for Fowler's gym-mate Marcel Braithwaite who lost on a split decision to number three seed Lucien Reid (West Ham).

Braithwaite made a confident start but the slick Reid - last year's ABA champion - got himself back into the contest during the second round.

The Golden Gloves bantamweight dug in deep in the closing stages but Reid had done enough in the eyes of the ringside judges and went through to the semis.

Alan Johnson (Sutton) was unable to cause a major upset as he was stopped in the second round of his super-heavyweight bout against number one seed Frazer Clarke. Clarke forced two standings counts on the Wirral man and the referee soon stepped in to wave the contest off.

Boxing starts at 11am today.

CAPTION(S):

PLANTING THE SEEDS: Blane Hyland (inset above) in action against Matt Windle and (left) Charlie Edwards on his way to victory at the Echo Arena yesterday Pictures by CHRIS BEVAN
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2014
Words:570
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