DARLINGTON boxer Chris Wood will be one of the star attractions as Sunderland hosts the ABAE National Senior Novice Finals tomorrow afternoon.

The event, which showcases some of the rising stars in British amateur boxing, marks the first time the North-East has hosted a national finals in the sport.

There are 20 bouts on the programme, each one a national final, with none of the boxers involved having fought in more than 20 previous contests.

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The regional interest comes courtesy of 24-year-old Wood, who is a member of Darlington's Albert Hill ABC.

Wood will take on Billy Goodhall from London's Fisher gym, home of former boxing greats such as Lloyd Honeyghan and Terry Downes.

The North-Easterner has only been boxing for 18 months, but his trainer, Paul Hamilton, is confident he has what it takes to succeed in the sport.

"Chris is a great prospect for the future," said Hamilton. "He's a big lad for his weight and we're expecting an exciting contest."

Mark Abberley, the chief executive of the ABA will be present tomorrow, along with former British, Commonwealth and European champion Billy Hardy, who is the VIP host for the afternoon.

The event takes place at the Nissan Sports & Social Club on Washington Road in Sunderland. The action starts at 1pm and tickets priced at £15 will be available on the door. VIP tickets are available in advance from Davey Newth on 07535 063450.

ABAE National Senior Novice Finals programme:

Class A (3 x 2-minute rounds)

1 (51kg) Galal Yafai (Birmingham City) v Troy Smart (Islington)

2 (54kg) Christopher Woods (Albert Hill) v Billy Goodhall (Fisher)

3 (57kg) Craig Smallshaw (Rydal) v Jevin Taylor (Fisher)

4 (60kg) Zahid Hussain (Sharkeys) v Muslin Zaid (Earlsfield)

5 (63.5k) Tom Barlow (Astley)v O'Hara Davis (Repton)

6 (67kg) Ely Murphy (Moss Side Fire) V Charlie Wynn (Keddles)

7 (71kg) Andrew Howarth (North Mersey) v Alex Marshalech (Bedford)

8 (75kg) Kyle Lomotey (Astley) v Jamal Akay (All Stars)

9 (81kg) James Maughan (Wildcard) v Michael Dann (Plympton)

10 (86kg) Lyndon Arthur (Collyhurst & Moston) v Jermaine Kelly (Islington)

11 (91kg) Noah Burton (Triumph) V Jonathon Palata (Palmers Boxing Academy)

12 (91kg+) Chris Moreau (Rydal) v Gabriele Chiocciocy (Dale Youth)

Class B (4 x 2-minute rounds)

13 (51kg) Dinesh Puri (South Normanton) v Blessed Sitholl (Isle of Thanet)

14 (54kg) Louis Jacobs (Knowsley Vale) v Kyle England (Bideford)

15 (57kg) John Edwardson (Golden Gloves) v Zak Farrugia (Lions)

16 (60kg) Tom Shiels (Wirral) v Joe Yuji Ishigaki (Moulescombe)

17 (63.5k) Chris Shepherd (Halliwell) v Jacob Gabriel (Basingstoke)

18 (67kg) Nathan Bennett (Kirkdale) v O'Shane Clerk (Reading)

19 (71kg) Private Barry (Army) v Jack Bellingham (Pilgrims)

20 (75kg) Paul Riley (Birkenhead) v Julius Amoah (Times)

21 (81kg) Jermaine Springer (Karmand) v Richard Riakporne (Lynn)

22 (86kg) Lee Harrison (Royal Oak) v David Bailey (Empire)

23 (91kg) Daniel Lineham (Vikings) v Isaac Chamberlain (Miquels)

24 (91kg +) Jake Harrison (Trinity) v Julian Bryant (Gator)