NORTH WALES were kings of the ring in Manchester as they came out on top against what the North West had to offer.

The Welsh fighters triumphed 8-5 in the 13-bout contest after four of the fights were cancelled.

Butch Jones, head coach of the Cefn Mawr-based Maelor Club, was part of the Welsh coaching team and he said: “ I had four boys to box but only one boxed in the end.

“Gary Richards and Thomas Roberts’ opponents pulled out, Leighton Turnbull failed the medical on the day so it was down to one Harry Roberts to fly the flag.

“He boxed a very good boy in Kei Pennington of Ashley but beat him on a unanimous points decision.

“It was not easy and Harry had to dig deep to win, and Harry was also picked by the officials and coaches to be awarded the best boxer of the tournament which made me and his supporting family members very proud.”

Roberts will now prepare for the WABA championships but clubs across Wales have been told not to arrange fights during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Welsh Boxing Executive statement read: “It has been decided that it would be inappropriate to carry on with the Welsh Boxing National Championships. These are extremely difficult times, but it’s essential we do what it takes to ensure we remain as safe as possible and that boxing does its bit to help alleviate the current situation.

“We don’t know how long this will last, but it is our ambition to ensure the Championships do take place this year and that our boxers have the opportunity to become national champions.”

Meanwhile promoter Eddie Hearn has admitted Anthony Joshua’s next world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev could be pushed back a month.

Joshua is scheduled to face the Bulgarian at Tottenham’s new stadium on June 20, but that date could now be required by the club for a potential extension of the Premier League campaign.

Hearn, whose Matchroom organisation earlier confirmed the postponement of all boxing events in March and April, again dismissed the prospect of any of his major bouts being staged behind closed doors.

Hearn said: “At the moment it’s still in place. Obviously with the news of the Euros being cancelled and the possible extension of the Premier League season, Spurs may need that stadium in June.”