HOP pair on brink of ABA finals

Greg Bridet

Greg Bridet

This tribute to Portsmouths boxers which will be unveiled in Guildhall Square in August.

Boxers who attracted thousands to be honoured in Guildhall Square

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Heart of Portsmouth’s ABA duo today bid to book their place in the final of the showpiece boxing competition.

Proud pair Robbie Matthews and Greg Bridet are just one step away from making it to the last stage of the prestigious senior event.

And they have been backed to deliver in the semis today as they travel to Sudbury, Suffolk, in the condition of their lives.

Matthews takes on Chadwell St Mary’s Kieran Redding for his place in the final at 60kg.

And News Sports Awards Sportsman of the Year runner-up Bridet meets Southend’s Gary Daley at 91kg as he goes for glory.

The two talents were the only winners from the region as they took on the London area in their last round of action.

HOP boss Q Shillingford is delighted the pair are flying the flag for Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

And he believes they couldn’t have done any more to ensure they are ready for their shot at the final.

Shillingford said: ‘The boys are ready and raring to go.

‘To have two boxers from the same club at this stage of the competition is a great achievement.

‘We have had a lot of clubs and people in boxing congratulating us for what we have done and wishing us good luck.

‘Now the aim it to reach the final.

‘We’re really hopeful the boys can go out there and do it.

‘Robbie has got it all to do. He’s in a popular weight category so his opponent is tough.

‘Greg is in with the big boys where anyone can knock you out with a single punch.

‘The pair of them are in the best shape of their lives, though.

‘They are both strong and big at their weights.

‘Now they have to deliver, but that is what all the training has been for.

‘They are both excited. For both of them to reach the final really would be something.’

The focus at HOP has been on ensuring both Bridet and Matthews are in prime condition to have a shot at a crown which is the Holy Grail of British amateur boxing.

The winner of this year’s final also gets the chance to meet the Olympic squad weight counterpart.

On top of that, the finallists will meet at the home of boxing – York Hall in Bethnal Green – in this year’s final.

Shillingford pinpointed a club effort to helping the pair get ready for their big moment as key to their progress.

He said: ‘The boys have moved up a level in their training, conditioning, preparation and mental attitude.

‘That’s down to them and the people behind the scenes at the club.

‘Colin Williams has put a lot of hard work and dedication into these boys.

‘He sums up the efforts that are being put in by everyone to make the club a success.’

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