HEART OF PORTSMOUTH (HOP) aim to secure national glory at the home of amateur boxing today.
Ollie Fenton and Paris Williams are out to prove they are best in their sport at the England Boxing National Schools Championships final.
And the England Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield will be the setting for their bid for victory.
The EIS is where the Great Britain boxing squad are based, with some of the most exciting names in the sport coming through the ranks there.
Fenton meets Birtley’s Brandon Morrison at 32.5kg as he aims to make it two national titles on the bounce.
Williams steps out at this stage for the first time against Empire School of Boxing’s Savannah Stubley at 46kg
They are armed, prepared and ready to go.Q Shillingford
St Edmunds School pupil Fenton, 13, takes on an opponent from a club with a fine standing in the amateur code.
Springfield Technology College pupil Williams, 13, meets a rival with an impressive winning record and reputation.
But HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, knows neither of his boxers will be overawed by the occasion.
And they go into battle knowing no stone has been left unturned in their preparations.
Shillingford said: ‘Paris is treading new ground but Oliver has been there before and will take it in his stride.
‘They are flying in training – as sharp, strong and fit as you like.
‘They are boxing at the home of Great Britain boxing and the Olympic team.
‘They are in with good kids with strong records.
‘But you expect no less in a national final.
‘Birtley are a big club with a reputation, definitely one of the biggest in the north.
‘But our boxers are well conditioned and all set to rock and roll.
‘Sparring has covered everything.
‘We’re over the moon with how fit and strong they are. They are so ready and excited.
‘They are two boxers who will go out and give their all.
‘It’s a massive occasion – but they are armed, prepared and ready to go.’
Shillingford paid tribute to the work of the HOP coaching staff in preparing Fenton and Williams for their cracks at the title.
Head junior coach, Paul Kapnisi, will be in the boxers’ corner today - after getting married on Thursday.
He has been a key figure in the progress of Fenton, overseeing his development from the age of seven.
Shillingford also highlighted the efforts of Colin Brown and Matt Fenton from the HOP backroom team.
He knows their commitment has been crucial to the boxers’ development.
‘Paul got married on Thursday, but is still going up there with them. That’s commitment,’ said Shillingford.
‘Paul has done Ollie’s corner all the way through.
‘A lot of people have worked hard with them. Paul, Matt Fenton and Colin Brown have put in untold hours doing the preparations.
‘Now they are out to bring the titles back to Portsmouth.’
Meanwhile, Harry Brown is aiming for success in the Bristol Box Cup this weekend.
The former national champion is hoping for a busy period of competition across two days as he bids to take the title.