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Silver for Seehra

P.G. boxer falls short at nationals, teammate Lally punching for gold today

Jag Seehra's thrilling ride at the senior national boxing championships ended one stop short of his desired destination.

Seehra, a 21-year-old from Prince George's Inner City Boxing Club, fought for gold Friday in Quebec City but dropped a 6-3 decision to Ayaz Hussein of Montreal. The ringside judges had Hussein ahead 4-0 heading into the third and final round and Seehra wasn't able to dig his way out of the hole.

"He was quick," Seehra said of Hussein. "He kept catching me with his left hook, but I know I can beat this guy."

Inner City coach Bob Pegues called Friday's fight a "great tactical battle," and gave Seehra credit for doing well against a highly-skilled fighter.

"This guy (Hussein), his punches came out of nowhere," Pegues said. "He was very tricky. Jag put everything out there (in the third round) and just couldn't quite pull it off. Am I disappointed? Absolutely not. I'm hugely proud of him. He did a brilliant job and he certainly got a lot farther than we planned this year. All we wanted was to get a bronze so we could go to the final (national) team selection, where we're hoping to get onto the B team. He gets that opportunity with a silver medal."

Seehra and Hussein were entered in the 60-kilogram weight class. Seehra finished nationals with two victories, a win by default, and the one loss. The silver medal represented his best-ever result at nationals.

"It was good while it lasted," said Seehra, who battled his way to Canadian bronze two years ago and was eliminated after one bout last year.

"I was so ready (this year)," he added. "I was so focused and felt like it was my time. After one win, the momentum was building. I wish I had followed through at the end but I just came short."

Seehra beat Ontario champion Steve Wilcox in his opening bout, won by default against Alberta's Eric Taylor and then defeated Quebec's Mickael Gadbois in a Thursday semifinal.

Kenny Lally, Seehra's Inner City teammate, will get his own shot at national gold today. In a Friday semifinal in the 52kg division, Lally scored a knockout victory against Toronto's Ahmed Karatella. Lally, who knocked out Quebec's Frederic Laquerre in his Thursday opener, needed just 43 seconds to stop Karatella.

"He was really amped so I was like, 'OK, I'll see what this kid is going to do,'" said the 21-year-old Lally. "He threw a couple punches at me and his power was all right. Then I nailed him with the left hook and I dropped him to the ground. He got up and I looked in his eyes and they were all kind of weird so I was like, 'I can stop this kid.' I was really patient with him and every time he would jump in, his hand would come down so I nailed him again with the left hook and gave him another eight-count. I knew I just needed one more to stop the fight so I got right on him."

Lally, a member of the national A team last season, will take on Godfrey Nyora for gold today. Nyora is Nigerian by birth but is now a Canadian resident.

Lally is confident he'll have his gloves raised high at the end of the fight.

"He's a southpaw and I do really well with southpaws," Lally said. "He lunges in a lot so every time he comes in I'll fire my right hand in there. That's pretty much the game plan. I'm not going to go over the top and try to knock this guy out. It will be a really tactical battle."