Bendle stays focussed to take title

Ben Bendle delivered again
Ben Bendle delivered again
Eric Israel

Portsmouth man reveals parents don’t know he’s a boxer after shock TV win

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Ben Bendle refused to let a late change of opponent faze him as he stormed to Junior ABA victory.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) powerhouse has become the city’s latest national champion following victory over Errol Freeman in Mansfield.

Bendle floored his opponent on the way to a unanimous success in their class-five 75kg showdown.

The 16-year-old was lined up to take on Shrewsbury’s Jimmy Price for the title.

But he was ruled out of action on the eve of the final, paving the way for Freeman to step in at the last minute.

Freeman had been controversially defeated by Price in the northern final and provided a stiff test of Bendle’s credentials.

But he handled the late change of opponent and switch in tactics with ease.

Freeman put in a brave challenge but it was the HOP talent, nicknamed the Bull, who was always in control.

The power of Bendle was seen when a rear hand dropped Freeman at the end of the first.

Freeman attempted to up the ante in the second round but Bendle was having no problem landing his shots.

And the HOP boxer stepped on the gas in the third round to finish the job and secure a clear win.

HOP head coach Q Shillingford heaped praise on Bendle for executing the game-plan perfectly.

Shillingford said: ‘Ben boxed superbly, picking his punches and scoring firmly.

‘The good thing about Ben is, not only does he listen to what the coaches say but he delivers in the ring.

‘He was in with a strong come-forward southpaw who was trying to put it on Ben.

‘He just boxed to instruction and handled it superbly.

‘Ben moved to the left and threw the right hand through the middle. It worked perfectly.

‘That was the shot Ben dropped him with in the first round.

‘It landed all through the bout.

‘He was a tough kid but Ben was in control throughout.

‘It was a deserved unanimous win.’