Pair out to be crowned kings of south

Heart of Portsmouth's Walid Adenas Picture: Joe Pepler
Heart of Portsmouth's Walid Adenas Picture: Joe Pepler
Joel McIntyre. Picture: Sarah Standing (161623-8349)

No rest for McIntyre after latest win

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Heart of Portsmouth launch a two-pronged assault on the Southern Counties finals today.

That title is up for grabs as Walid Adenas and Ed Ayres aim to progress in the England Boxing Youth Championships in Kent.

Adenas continues his charge as he takes on West Hill’s Rhys Verlander at 64kg.

And Ayres is out to defeat Smallholdings’ Asa Tolan-Powell at 81kg and progress to the next stage.

Both talents have been training frenetically as they get ready for action.

Adenas has already pulled off a shock, after beating Golden Ring’s Sid Williams last week.

That was one of two quick-fire wins as he progressed to this stage.

HOP coach, Colin Williams, has total faith in Adenas to deliver once again.

Williams said: ‘Walid’s got an opponent who’s been around for a long time and is an experienced kid.

‘But I think Walid, with his non-stop determination, has what it takes to win – if he boxes as he has so far in the championships.

‘His technique is coming on so well. He’s getting behind his jab, slipping the jab and throwing lots of combinations.

‘He’s stepping over to the right and using his angles a lot better.

‘He’s boxing really well and coming on strong.

‘Walid has such heart and boxes like someone who is a lot more experienced than what he actually is.

‘Walid and his brother, Ahmed, could hardly speak any English when he came to us a few years ago and have come a long way. He has such heart and boxes the last round like the first.

‘With someone like Walid you can run but you can’t hide. You can get out of the way of the first two punches in a combination, but what about the next three?

‘He wants this title and has the hunger for it. He’s an absolute pleasure to train.’

Ayres’ campaign begins in earnest today against Tolan-Powell.

Williams believes the key to success for the talent lies in his jab.

He said: ‘Ed’s got an opponent who isn’t bad at all. He’s won five out of his seven bouts – so Ed will have to be ready to give his best.

‘We’ll be looking for him to keep it nice and long because he has a lovely jab.

‘He’s sharp and has been working hard, so he’s ready.’

– JORDAN CROSS