East London Boxing Academy's Roman Haidari has reached the ABA finals to compete for a third consecutive national title

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Roman Haidari following his semi-final win over Tom Owens. Roman Haidari following his semi-final win over Tom Owens.

East London Boxing Academy captain Roman Haidari reached the finals of the ABA Junior Championships on Saturday and will now look to secure a third consecutive national title.

Haidari, who will compete in the Class A 63kg category, defeated Tom Owens of Pinewood Star Boxing Club after coming from behind.

Owens took the first round but after changing tactics, Haidari roared back to progress to the final by winning the next two rounds.

Thomas Hessin of Braunstone Golden Gloves Boxing Club awaits in the final, to be held at the Territorial Army Reserve Centre in Grove Park next Saturday.

Speaking afterwards, Haidari said: "I knew I was behind after the first round and had to dig deep which I did.

"I told myself that it all came down to the next two rounds which I had to win so I made adjustments to my style. Tom was a very strong boy but it was my time to shine.

"Now all I can think about is the final and I really want to win my third national title in a row," he added.

Coach Umer Ali Iqbal said: "Roman has worked extremely hard to achieve this. He has been constantly in the gym for coming up to 12 weeks, as having won the nationals twice before, he knows how hard it is.

"His performance on Saturday showed what winning means to him where he really had to push hard to get the win.

"This is where most people give up but not Roman, now he's only a week away from achieving one of his personal targets."

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