Charlie receives England call-up

Portsmouth University club boxer Charlie Southam
Portsmouth University club boxer Charlie Southam

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Charlie Southam is celebrating her England call-up.

In another shot in the arm for the area’s thriving boxing scene, Southam has been selected to box for her country at the European Youth and Junior Championships.

It’s a big coup for the 15-year-old and her Portsmouth University club as she travels to Russia to compete next month.

Southam will be the only England junior to take part in the event in Orenburg, which gets under way on Monday, August 29 and runs until Sunday, September 4.

It’s reward for her outstanding progress after she linked up with the University club after long-running outfit Stacey folded.

Southam, who is coached by Tony Knowles, Colin Hooker and her father Paul, already has one eye on making it to a future Olympics.

The London Games is out of the equation for her, but the 2016 Games in Rio is on her radar.

Hooker lauded Southam’s efforts and believes her call-up is rich reward for the work she has put in to her development.

Hooker said: ‘It’s been a busy and successful year for Charlie. She has worked her socks off and deserves this opportunity to shine on the European stage.

‘She is only 15 and is the only junior to be selected for the championships.

‘Unfortunately, she will not be old enough to enter the London Olympics next year, but will be 19 for the following Olympics in 2016.

‘She is a pleasure to train and has so much ability. It’s amazing to work with her.’

Southam’s success has proved an exciting development for the University outfit, who are going from strength to strength.

She has already picked up the ABAE title as she overcame former champ Sarah Garrett to pick up that crown.

The university have only recently introduced a junior squad, which has hit the ground running.

The likes of Alfie Steeves and Jake Kannoo have also fared well for the outfit since they settled into their new base in Fratton.

Hooker said: ‘Charlie has had four bouts this season, beat the Scottish champion 14-1 and won the ABAE title.We started a junior section only last December and it has been a great start for us.

‘We now have 12 active junior boxers next season and the senior squad are looking for their fifth British university title in a row.’

Portsmouth University are on the look out for new talent.

Boxers are welcome to visit the club’s gym at 141 Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton.