VAUXHALL Motors ABC’s only qualifier on ABA Finals day went home empty-handed – but not before he had caught the attention of the England selectors.
Wayne Adeniyi, formerly a rookie heavyweight with North Mersey ABC, has spent this season at Vauxhall as a cruiserweight.
He impressed on his way to the final, beating favourite Daryl Cullerton in a campaign bereft of established amateur stars after the exodus to the professional ranks that followed the Beijing Olympics.
But at the Sheffield Institute of Sport, in front of the Setanta Sports cameras and facing a prickly opponent in Robert Evans of Banbury club Spit n Sawdust, Adeniyi’s mistakes cost him dear.
An even first round ended 1-1 but in the second both fighters just started throwing bombs, most of which were not scored as the duo went into the final round at 3-3.
Following several cautions referee George Brugnoli deducted two points from Evans for holding, but at the same time Adeniyi lost his focus and dropped his guard.
Evans took full advantage and scored with a flurry to win 9-6.
Motors’ senior coach Peter Phelan, working his fifth ABA final for the club, said: “Wayne is mad with himself knowing he let his big chance slip.
“He has lots of talent allied to a solid chin and his performance will have brought him to the attention of the England selectors with the Commonwealth Games next year.”