Resztan overcomes hand injury to retain National Champs title

FIGHTING FIT: Demie-Jade Resztan
FIGHTING FIT: Demie-Jade Resztan
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The fact that Demie-Jade Resztan was present to defend her England Boxing Elite National Championships title last weekend was an achievement in itself, writes Liam Apicella.

But to go on to successfully retain her belt was mightily impressive from the New Astley Boxing Club fighter, who had been struggling with a hand injury in the months leading up to the event at the Magna Centre in Rotherham.

While there was no broken bones, the complaint — suffered at the European Championships in November 2016 — forced Resztan to wear a cast for a number of weeks.

It meant she had to train using just one hand, with the cast only being removed a fortnight before the national competition.

Head coach Mark O’Reilly had major doubts over whether or not Resztan would compete in Yorkshire, but the number one seed defied the uncertainty to win a semi-final on Saturday, before beating Stratford-upon-Avon’s Miriam Zouhou in the final, 24 hours later.

“To win this title twice is a great achievement for anyone, but for Demie to do it under such circumstances is incredible,” said O’Reilly.

“I had doubts, but she never did. As far as she was concerned she was always going to fight.

“It says so much about her mental strength. Showing that determination is not easy.

“She was a bit rusty in the semi-final, but in the final she was class. She utterly dominated a good opponent.”

Next up for Resztan — hand permitting — is the Three Nations in Cardiff on May 13.

n Meanwhile, two of O’Reilly’s other fighters — Max Fussey and Jessie Hales — both won their bouts at a competition held in Essex on Saturday.