East London Boxing Academy rising stars Zeeshan Ali and Jack Daly continued their fine form by making it through to the semi-finals of the National Junior and Senior Development Championships.

It means the academy has three fighters in the semi-finals next weekend, with Uzair Maqbool already through having been handed a bye at the quarter finals in Basildon at the weekend.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Ali and Daly, who very nearly didn’t make it to Basildon after they were left stranded on the A12 when the team car’s tyre burst while travelling at 70mph.

With just an hour remaining until the weigh in closed, it looked like the duo were agonisingly have to miss their quarter final bouts but Lansbury ABC coach Adam Spelling saved the day, driving back from the venue to pick the East London fighters up to ensure they arrived in the nick of time.

Ali was up first for East London in Basildon on Friday evening and he faced his biggest challenge yet in the shape of Eastern Counties champion Connor Dale from Peterborough Police.

But Ali would see off his experienced opponent in style, showing good resilience to book his place in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, club captain Daly proved to be too strong for Joe Bonito from Halstead ABC in the cruiserweight division, as the East London fighter won all three rounds to claim a comprehensive victory.

East London Boxing Academy coach Umer Ali said: “In such stressful and emotional circumstances I am very proud of both Zeeshan and Jack who put in great performances to come away with the wins.”