Williams shows Heart to be crowned national champion

Heart of Portsmouth boxer Paris Williams, right     Picture: England Boxing
Heart of Portsmouth boxer Paris Williams, right Picture: England Boxing
Jack Bishop aged 21 in the Airborne Division

‘If ever I had a hero in my life then Jack was it’

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Q Shillingford lauded newly-crowned national champion Paris Williams and insisted: She deserves everything she gets.

Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) teenager Williams fulfilled her England Boxing Junior Championship dream last weekend when she defeated Chadderton’s Ellie Hibbert at 48kg.

The 14-year-old, who had to travel all the way up to Birtley ABC in Gateshead for her date with destiny, called on all of her boxing training and hours in the gym to emerge with a unanimous decision win.

For HOP head coach Shillingford, Williams’ success was the culmination of years of hard work with everybody involved with the club – not least coach Colin Brown.

Shillingford said: ‘Paris had a really good opponent who was fit and strong but she dug in there and listened to her coach.

‘She used her box-fighting technique – inside, she outworked her and then switched her attack from head to body.

‘And from long range she used her footwork skill and her counter-punching to outbox and outmanoeuvre her opponent.

‘I never questioned that Paris would become a national champion because I knew of her talent, commitment and dedication.

‘She is a role model for the club with the way she conducts herself and puts everything into her training. She deserves everything she gets.

‘I would like to thank all of the club’s members and coaches, especially Colin Brown who supported Paris in her journey to becoming a national champion – it has been a great team effort.’

Also gracing the national stage in Gateshead was Gosport ABC’s Amy Cooper.

Cooper gave a terrific account of herself only to be edged out on points by England international Georgia O’Connor in the junior 70kg final.

Coach Darren Blair was full of praise for the gutsy fighter but left to lament the controversial nature of the decision.

He said: ‘Amy boxed out of her skin only to be robbed at the end.

‘She would have been boxing in the Tri-Nations if she had won.

‘They were all northern judges – they should have had some southern judges because it’s for a national title.

‘Amy won it last year by TKO so it seems the only way to win up there is by TKO.

‘She did everything I asked her to.’

Tyler Hallawell of Wecock-based Team Wiseman was also in action last weekend but was cruelly denied a chance to avenge last year’s final defeat to Darlington’s William Ward.

That’s after the 15-year-old was on the wrong end of a split-decision semi-final defeat to Pinewood Starr’s Andrew Taylor.

Those in attendance were engrossed by a full-blooded affair that was labelled ‘fight of the day’ at the tournament and could have gone either way.