Street fighter Mark Chamberlain has sensationally made it to the ABA Schoolboy Championships final – despite not having a permanent roof to train under.
Team Wiseman’s rising star has been forced to prepare on the streets and in playgrounds in Wecock Farm on his march to the national finals in Liverpool tomorrow.
It’s a real-life Rocky tale for the 14-year-old, who has not let a lack of home for his club hinder his outstanding progress as he pounds the streets and trains on the housing estate.
Now the teenager stands on the brink of winning a national title for his newly-formed outfit.
Chamberlain takes on Darlington’s Ben Marksby in his crack at the crown when they meet in the class two final at 40kg tomorrow.
It’s been a meteoric rise for Chamberlain, who has made huge progress in recent months.
His trainer, Daron Wiseman, believes a win would represent gritty success for his charge.
And he backed the youngster to deliver an against-the-odds victory.
Wiseman said: ‘It’s a bit like Rocky for us with the training on the streets.
‘We train twice a week on the streets and are always there whatever the weather.
‘But Mark gets on with it, is a really polite kid and works hard.
‘He’s been doing it non-stop since November and has come on so much.
‘It’s been nothing but training for him, but hopefully it will pay off now.
‘He was always a good boxer but he is a different boy from a few months ago. He’s on a different level.
‘We’ve done our best and Mark has done his best.
‘I’m confident we are putting a boy in the ring in the finals who looks a million dollars.
‘The preparation has gone well and he’s come good at the right time.
‘I’m not sure he realised how good he can be. But I think he is starting to realise now and is coming on all the time.
‘He’s in the shape of his life. He deserves to be the best in England.’
Chamberlain has shown his class throughout the competition and looked excellent in beating Berinsfield’s Michael McDonagh to make the final last month.
He came through on points in Portsmouth as he used effective footwork and angled shots to pepper his opponent.
As well as working on the streets at Wecock Farm, Chamberlain has had to hit the road to get high-level sparring ahead of the final. That has seen him go to Berkshire outfit Pinewood Starr for a gruelling session.
Chamberlain has more than handled that work, however, and is looking razor sharp ahead of the showdown with Marksby.
Despite the adversity of having no training base, Wiseman feels his boxer is ready. And he is hopeful Chamberlain’s success could help highlight the club’s plight and lead to them being given support in Team Wiseman’s bid for a permanent home.
‘Mark has been focused and is really firing on all four cylinders now,’ said Wiseman.
‘We’ve been sparring at Pinewood Starr and working with different boxers there.
‘Mark was outscoring them and it was a brilliant experience for him.
‘We’re quietly confident now going into the final.
‘And hopefully some good can come of him making the final for the club.
‘We’ve had people get in touch, offer support and push to give us help.
‘That would be brilliant for Mark and our club.’
FINAL REPORT & REACTION
n In The News on Tuesday