Pritchard’s moment is here as he gets national title shot

Josh Pritchard

Josh Pritchard

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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Josh Pritchard has been backed to spring an upset when his big Junior ABA moment arrives tomorrow.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) talent goes into final battle against fellow England international and hotly-touted Jack Daniels in Kent.

The Kellys ABC talent carries a 30-win record from 34 bouts as he goes in against Pritchard at 52kg in the class five category.

It’s a big task for 17-year-old Pritchard, who will bid for victory in his third national final.

But Pritchard has been supremely prepared for battle by his HOP team and their coaching staff.

HOP coach Q Shillingford paid tribute to his quality and outstanding attitude in training, which has allowed the teenager to go into the final in the best possible condition.

Shillingford believes his charge heads into the clash with the pressure off – but everything to gain as he goes for glory.

And he handed Pritchard, above, a huge compliment by stating he has one of the best attitudes of any boxers he has worked with in his 34 years involved in the noble art.

Shillingford said: ‘Josh has a tough bout, but he knows what he has to do.

‘He is in good form and I have worked on his tactics a lot one on one.

‘I’m a southpaw and he is facing a tall, strong and awkward southpaw, so I might know a thing or two on that front.

‘Josh is one of the most dedicated and committed boxers I’ve worked with.

‘I’ve been in boxing for 34 years and coaching for 22. Josh is one of the best in those areas I’ve seen.

‘He is an example of someone who has made the best of their natural ability to reach their potential.

‘He is an absolute workhorse and is such a dedicated person.

‘I feel he is a role model to the gym, Portsmouth and the southern counties.

‘I really think a lot of him and feel he will go a long way in boxing – I have no doubt about that.’

Pritchard will be aiming to settle a score for his club-mate Kieran Rodden, who was beaten by Daniels in the final of the CYP national championships.

Rodden found himself on a fantastic run to get to that stage, before Daniels got the verdict in the final.

Daniels has also beaten another CYP champion in the shape of Middlesbrough’s Joe Maphosa on the way to the Junior ABA final showdown.

It’s a big task for Pritchard, but Shillingford believes if anyone can pull it off, he can.

Shillingford said: ‘We know all about his opponent.

‘He is a tough customer with an excellent record.

‘He is very tall for his weight and has a strong pedigree.

‘Kieran, who is a good kid, got beaten by him and he has defeated an England international to get to the final.

‘Daniels may be on form and looking strong, but we know that Josh is in great form and has been really well prepared for this.

‘Josh has nothing to lose going into this and everything to gain.

‘If there is going to be an upset in this year’s Junior ABA national finals, Josh Pritchard is the man to do it.’

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