ESSEX University Boxing Club middleweight Vernon Henry was crowned Eastern Counties champion at the first attempt after convincingly beating Peterborough Police's Brian Lawless in the final at Chelmsford cricket ground.

Henry has worked hard to become champion and has set his goals high, wanting to win as many titles as he can.

In Lawless, he met a spirited opponent who wanted the win as much as him but the Essex University boxer was not to be denied, connecting with solid left rights throughout the bout.

Lawless was warned for holding when the pressure became too much.

Henry boxes in the pre-quarter finals alongside club-mate Roseanna Allen at Basildon Sporting Village, on Friday.

Louie O’Doherty scored a clean and well-controlled victory over Bexhill's Nirad Khan at the same venue.

This was a good contest for the 18-year-old for his first bout of the season.

Boxing behind a solid left jab, the Essex University light welterweight (63kgs) was accurate and sharp, landing two and three punch combinations.

Khan stood his ground in the second round, unloading heavy punches but found the elusiveness of O'Doherty too much.

The third round was more even with O'Doherty back to boxing behind the jab and Khan more willing to trade the blows but the Essex University boxer prevailed.

The NABC championships start at the end of the month.

Essex University's Lee Scott returned to action at the Peterborough Police Boys first show of the season when he took on Lawless, who had fought against Henry.

Scott dominated the contest with a strong right hand and after convincingly winning the first round, the middleweight boxer was effective with the right uppercut and left hand in the first two rounds.

He comfortably won both and although the third round proved tougher for the Essex University boxer, his good defence helped him secure a well-fought victory.