LOUIS SMALL has been tipped for international honours after his charge to the NABGC Championship final.
The Fareham ABC ace delivered an impressive run to the last stage of the national competition, where he braved illness to take on the highly-touted Jake Harrison.
The 17-year-old went down to a narrow points-decision loss to his Gemini ABC rival over three rounds at 52kg.
Small almost missed out on his shot at the title entirely after being laid low with illness on the eve of action in Manchester.
He was hit with sickness through the night which has since developed into tonsillitis.
But the Fareham College student didn’t think about pulling out for a second, and did himself proud when he stepped into the ring.
Harrison started the quicker of the pair before Small stormed back in the second round.
It proved a close third before the Liverpool boxer picked up the decision.
The display showed how Small belonged at the level, though, against a decorated opponent with 60-plus bouts’ experience.
Small has picked up victory in the competition before as well as having success in the Haringey Cup.
Now he’s out to ensure there’s more of the same in 2018.
Small said: ‘I felt I performed quite well. He was a good boxer, skilful and quite powerful.
‘I wasn’t well but gave it everything I had.
‘Now I want to get fit again and go for more titles in the new year.’
Small showcased his talent on a lengthy run to reach the final of the competition.
Heart of Portsmouth’s Bailey Fowler was overcome in the opening stage before he went on to beat St Mary’s Robert Caswell in the county finals.
Ishmael Islam, from respected east London outfit Repton, was defeated in the quarter-finals, before Small went on to beat Devenport’s Danny Quinn with a semi-final stoppage.
Now hopes are high an England call could be coming after a continued period of success.
Fareham secretary, Shellie Whiffin, said: ‘We’re all very, very proud of Louis.
‘He’s beaten a lot of good people to get to the final and it was a really close call.
‘Bailey Fowler is a good boxer, and Louis had to box him in the first round.
‘The likes of David White and all the other coaches at the club have been training him every night for the past two months.
‘We’re really hoping for an England call-up, and he doesn’t look too far from it.
‘He’ll keep winning after Christmas and hopefully it’ll come.’