Bullish Bendle all set for England duty

Heart of Portsmouth's Ben Bendle with his mum Shirley
Heart of Portsmouth's Ben Bendle with his mum Shirley
Ivy-Jane Smith is making her mark on the big stage

Heart of Portsmouth boxer closing in on GB dream

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Ben Bendle did his duty for England as he got his Tri-Nations Tournament campaign off to a flier.

Heart of Portsmouth’s (HOP)Junior ABA champion stepped up to international level yesterday and defeated Welsh champion Connor Davies on his own turf in Swansea.

Bendle, nicknamed the Bull, beat Price at 75kg in class five, as he continued to show the quality and vast improvement he’s been making after winning the national last month.

Now Scottish champion Paul Lowther stands between the 16-year-old and the overall title today after he trounced Davies 16-5.

Coach Q Shillingford knows a win could be used as a platform for Bendle to go on to greater things.

Shillingford said: ‘Ben won and he won really well.

‘It was a big win and a big margin of victory.

‘He is a talented boxer and he’s showing that for England.

‘If he is able to beat the Scottish champion he has proven he is the top boy at his weight.

‘That could open a lot of doors for him and get him boxing for England all the time.

‘It’s fantastic and we’re looking for Ben to use this as a springboard to go on to bigger and better things.

‘Ben is well fired up and his preparations have been brilliant.

‘We’re looking for him to really deliver.

‘He really feels a part of things at Heart of Portsmouth. He’s been to a few clubs so it’s really nice to see him settle with us.

‘That will only help him to be able to box at his best.’

Meanwhile, Moneyfields’ Sid Williams is fine-tuning his preparations for the second stage of the competition in Warrington next week. Williams stormed to the final of the Junior ABAs at 52kg, where he went down fighting against Everton Red Triangle’s Brandon Daord.

He will have revenge on his mind against him, though – as well as Welsh champ Callum Schane, who he lost to after a disputed defeat earlier in the season.

Both boxers are in the tournament and Moneyfields coach Aaron Pritchard believes the hard-working Williams is gearing up nicely for action.

He said: ‘Sid is in class four on Friday. He’s looking fantastic in the gym and is getting ready to go.

‘England are hosting so there will be two English boys in it.

‘Sid will get either the Welsh or Scottish lad.

‘We’re hoping it’s the Welsh lad because Sid boxed him on a club show and lost a majority decision earlier in the season.

‘We’ve been pushing for a rematch for that all season.

‘So hopefully we can get that and then have Brandon Daord in the final.

‘It should be a really good experience for him.’