Disputed national defeat for rising star

Mark Chamberlain and his team felt he had done enough for victory   Picture: Mick Young
Mark Chamberlain and his team felt he had done enough for victory Picture: Mick Young
Conor Chaplins 94th-minute winner earned Pompey three hard-earned points from their visit to Stadium MK Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans keen to see more of Chaplin

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Mark Chamberlain has been backed to go on to greater things despite suffering a controversial ABA Schoolboy Championships final defeat.

Team Wiseman’s rising star went down to a disputed loss to Darlington’s Ben Marksby in the national showpiece in Liverpool.

But the majority reverse didn’t tell the story of a display from Portsmouth’s Chamberlain, which many watching believed warranted victory.

The 40kg final in class two saw Chamberlain set a frenetic pace against Marksby.

It was the Team Wiseman talent who set the tempo, throwing plenty of leather as Marksby covered up.

With Chamberlain looking the bigger, stronger boxer, it was his efforts which caught the eye.

The pace of the contest inevitably slowed in the final round, but it still looked like Chamberlain had done enough to win.

That was reflected in the demeanour of the two boxers on the final bell.

But, after a recount, the judges gave the decision to Marksby.

That meant disappointment for the 14-year-old member of the Wecock Farm-based club.

Chamberlain’s coach, Daron Wiseman, explained he has been inundated with calls from fellow coaches who felt his boxer had won the title.

That was cold comfort for the outfit. But Wiseman spoke of his immense pride in the way Chamberlain performed and conducted himself.

He believes the youngster’s march to the final can be the first of many successes for a boxer who can go on to greater things.

Wiseman said: ‘We lost but we thought we won all three rounds. We felt we were robbed.

‘There have been clubs getting in touch, clubs I don’t even know, saying that they didn’t know how Mark didn’t win.

‘Mark boxed brilliantly, the best he’s boxed all through the championships.

‘We boxed straight and long and the other boy was covering and not throwing a lot. I don’t know how it was scored that way.

‘I know you tend to favour your own boxer, but when people get in touch and say he’d won, it makes you realise you’re not being biased.

‘But we are over the moon with how Mark boxed in getting to the final and how he performed.

‘You never know how good they are until they box the best in England.

‘When they do and perform how Mark did, you have to be pleased.

‘He’s trained with us for a long time now and has gone a long way – but I’m sure he can go further.

‘The other boy looked upset and Mark was pleased after the bout.

‘It happens and that’s boxing. Mark just has to crack on with it.

‘We teach the boxers not to give up and to never quit and that’s how it will be with Mark.’

Chamberlain’s success has arrived despite having to prepare for the finals while training on the streets of Wecock Farm, with his club without a permanent base.

Despite the challenges, Wiseman feels his charge can be the first of many talents at the club to achieve championship glory.

He said: ‘We’ve got a list of boys who are coming through. I think Mark can be the first of many finallists.

‘We cater for everyone in our gym. They’re not all champions but we have some really good kids coming through.

‘Mark has set the bar high for us. He has helped put us on the map and got people talking about out club.’