A host of local boxers are eyeing success in the quarter-finals of the England Boxing Junior and Junior Cadet Championships in Surrey this weekend.
Youngsters from Team Wiseman, Heart of Portsmouth (HOP), Moneyfields and Leigh Park have all been put through their paces in the lead-up to the national event.
London is the hardest region to box against. If you win at this stage it will often be the hardest opposition you will face.Q Shillingford
Team Wiseman head coach Daron Wiseman and his team of Wecock-based coaches have done everything they can to prepare Jason Stanley, Mark Chamberlain and Lewis Dentith for their bouts.
Stanley (cadet) takes on Billericay’s Rio Emmins at 48kg, while last year’s finalist Chamberlain (junior) will be up against John Hanrahan, of Repton, at 54kg.
Dentith (junior) will face Repton’s John Johnson in the 63kg category.
Wiseman has high hopes for his charges and says they have put in an enormous effort to be ready for their fights.
‘Every single one of our boys are on top form,’ he said.
‘They are training five days a week, morning noon and night.
‘They’ve been doing about 15-20 rounds of sparring.
‘We’re putting in 100-per-cent effort.
‘We haven’t missed a thing this year.’
It is Stanley’s first taste of the competition but Wiseman believes his experience will carry him through.
‘He’s clocked up nearly 30 bouts and I think it gives him the experience to go through in the end,’ added Wiseman.
‘He’s definitely at the level he should be at.’
As part of the build-up, Wiseman has also studied videos of all three opponents.
He said: ‘All three are extremely tough bouts, we’re not taking them lightly. Hopefully, all three are going to go through to the final.’
Heart of Portsmouth boxer Bailey Fowler (cadet) matches up against last year’s champion, Tommy Roberts, at 50kg.
Fellow cadet Joe Coultas takes on Klayden Russell-Mead, of Chadwell St Mary, at 46kg.
HOP coach Q Shillingford said: ‘They’ve both got hard contests.
‘But that is what you are going to get at this stage of the competition.
‘London is the hardest region to box against. If you win at this stage it will often be the hardest opposition you will face.
‘Joe got to the semi-finals last year, and is looking to go one better.
‘Paul Kapnisi and the junior coaches have done a great job getting them ready.
‘I’m sure both boys will go in and do the club proud.’
Moneyfields talent and Southern Counties champion Joe Butler (junior) faces a stiff test in David Joyce at 48kg.
His Hornchurch & Elm Park opponent has won 10 of his past 11 fights, with his only loss coming at the England Boxing Junior Novice Championship final in December.
Coach Colin Hooker said: ‘It’s going to be a tough bout for Joe but we do expect him to go through.
‘He’s not the sort of lad to be fazed by anything.
‘He will go out there and give it his best shot.’
Leigh Park’s Ryan Oliver (junior) completes the line-up.
He faces Fisher’s Jimmy Roe at 66kg.