WALID ADENAS has been crowned king of the southern counties as his England Boxing Youth Championship assault continued.
The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) boxer blitzed West Hill’s Rhys Verlander to collect the title in the national competition in Kent.
Adenas proved too strong for his opponent as he picked up a unanimous decision.
But HOP team-mate Ed Ayres bowed out of the competition with a narrow split-decision loss to Smallholdings’ Asa Tolan-Powell at 81kg.
Adenas grabbed his third win of competition against Verlander as he produced another powerful, pressure performance.
Despite the 16-year-old having just a fraction of the experience of his opponent, Adenas was always in the ascendancy.
He boxed to instruction and cut off the ring to make life difficult for Verlander.
And the work put in with coach Sami Elslamanabi showed, with his fitness a stand-out factor.
HOP senior coach, Colin Williams, is delighted with the progress Adenas is making.
Williams said: ‘The boy’s had 45 bouts since 2008. Walid has had about 16 – so it’s a fabulous achievement.
‘Walid worked combinations to head and body and cut him off.
‘It was non-stop punches.
‘We are waiting to hear which boxer we will box from London.
‘With Walid’s heart, determination and will to win he’s got every chance to do well.
‘He was training all through Christmas in the cold conditions.
‘Walid will go forward and that catches the eye with the Aiba scoring system which is being used.
‘He cuts the ring off and works inside all the time.
‘For a young boy who is just 16, it’s something to reach the Southern Counties final and win. He’s done that at the age of 16 with 16 bouts.
‘I’m also delighted with Sami, who has worked hard with Walid.’
Ayres’ campaign came to a brave end as he ended a lengthy ring lay-off against Tolan-Powell.
His match-up picked up bout-of-the-night plaudits as it ebbed back and forth.
Ayres utilised his jab well after producing a powerful start.
But it was Tolan-Powell whose arm was lifted after the final bell.
Despite that, Williams knows the boxer leaves the competition with his head held high.
‘Ed lost on a split-decision in the bout of the night,’ added Williams.
‘It could have gone either way.
‘If he’d boxed like he did in the first round in the second and third, he’d definitely have won it.
‘He started the second with fast combinations and pressurised the boy in the centre of the ring, used his jab and threw combinations.
‘In the third he threw everything but, literally in the last 15 seconds, his opponent threw a couple of punches.
‘Everyone said it could have gone either way.
‘But that is Ed’s first bout for a year.
‘It was a hard, hard fight for him, so he can be proud.
‘We’re putting Portsmouth on the map.
‘The footballers might not be doing it – but the boxers are!’