Bridet on the brink

Greg Bridet, left, of Heart of Portsmouth
Greg Bridet, left, of Heart of Portsmouth
Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy's Ivy-Jane Smith

Heart of Portsmouth ace aiming to become world champion

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Greg Bridet goes in search of national glory on home soil this weekend.

Reformed Stacey ABC are hosting the ABA Senior Novice Championship finals at the Mountbatten Centre on Saturday.

And Heart of Portsmouth man Bridet will be going in search of victory after making it through to the last stage.

The heavyweight hope blasted out Empire ABC’s Tom Gifford in the semi-finals with a second-round knockout.

Now Trinity ABC’s rising star Russell Henshaw stands between Bridet and victory in the class B (under-20 bouts) category.

Henshaw is unbeaten in 11 contests but Bridet has been boxing in fine company in readiness for his challenge.

He has been working with the Olympic squad at their base in Sheffield, giving him the best possible sparring for the final.

Now he has to step up and rise to the challenge against Henshaw.

HOP coach Q Shillingford has backed him to do just that. Shillingford said: ‘Greg’s preparations for the event have been second to none.

‘He has been all over the country sparring.

‘His strength and conditions programme in the summer really paid off. He is hitting faster and harder.

‘Greg has a tall order to win but always will do his best for the club, Portsmouth, Hampshire and southern counties.

‘He has already beaten top level boxers to get to the final.

‘He knows what he has to do. He’s a very determined man with a lot to offer.

‘The HOP coaches are doing a great job. Another national title will be a real feather in the cap for Portsmouth.’

The event being hosted in Portsmouth is another boost for the boxing scene in the area.

It also marks the re-emergence of Stacey ABC, one of the area’s respected and long-established outfits.

Yinka Bello and his team have been working hard to build the club up once more.

And those efforts have been rewarded as they put on the finals.

Stacey coach and event organiser Endre Lock believes Portsmouth fight fans are in for another treat with around 25 bouts taking place.

He said: ‘This will be a day packed full of quality boxing.

‘Boxers are coming from all over the country and many will go on to be elite champions.’

The novice finals take place at the Mountbatten Centre on Saturday. Doors open at 1pm.

Tickets are £15 (adults), £8 (children). They are available on the door or direct on (023) 9262 6500.