Student out to graduate in final

Eric Nwanko, centre
Eric Nwanko, centre
Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy's Ivy-Jane Smith

Heart of Portsmouth ace aiming to become world champion

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ERIC NWANKO has been backed to hold his nerve as he goes for the British Universities & Colleges Sport title today.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) stylist takes on Brighton’s Lee Jenkins in the final in Sheffield.

That’s after stopping the University of Liverpool’s Paul Fliegner in the first round at the semi-final stage.

Now the middleweight has one more testing challenge in his way, as he takes on Jenkins in their Class B meeting.

Nwanko goes into battle in fine condition after working closely with coaches Jason Evans and Colin Williams.

Williams believes he won’t be found wanting when the bell sounds today.

He said: ‘Nwanko is in great shape.

‘We have worked hard with him in the build-up to these championships.

‘Eric will give everything and more. We are all looking forward to the bout.

‘Lee Jenkins is a good boxer but myself, Jason and head coach Q Shillingford have a few tricks up our sleeve – so roll on the final.’

Nwanko showcased the power he has in his arsenal with his display against Fliegner .

He cut down the ring and unleashed a fierce barrage early on, with the referee handing his opponent a standing count.

Nwanko showed composure before landing another three-punch combination which forced the referee to step in.

Williams explained that display showcased what his team had been focusing on in training.

He said: ‘Myself and Jason had been working on Eric’s combinations and his hand speed.’

Shillingford reserved praise for the support Nwanko has been given by HOP coaches Williams and Evans ahead of his final clash.

He said: ‘Eric Nwanko’s preparations for this event have been second to none.

‘He has worked very, very hard in training and fitting in a lot of extra preparation around his work and university schedule. ‘