Heart of Portsmouth pair aiming for national success

Joe Hunt has made it into the final of the National Minnows
Joe Hunt has made it into the final of the National Minnows
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Jack Featherstone is aim-ing to launch an assault on the National Schoolboys’ final next weekend.

Featherstone has made it through to the semi-finals of the competition after a comprehensive win in Bristol last weekend.

And his Heart of Portsmouth club-mate Joe Hunt could continue that success as he goes for a National Minnows crown the following weekend in Liverpool.

Featherstone overcame City of Gloucester’s Lee Knight to set up his shot at making the final.

The Cams Hills School pupil delivered an impressive display to progress, backing up Knight with long jabs and strong rear-hand shots.

That saw him pick up a clear 20-10 win and progress to the semis, where he knows he has a tough task when the London big guns come into the picture.

That makes it five victories on the bounce now for Featherstone, and HOP are hoping Hunt can continue that run in the minnows.

Hunt has picked up a couple of wins to advance to the final and is hoping to benefit from the minnows competition going nationwide.

In the 11-year-old age group, Hunt has made fine progress after completing the ABA National Boxing Awards programme.

His father Ray has qualified as a boxing tutor and boxing coach, paving the way for him to work closely with his son.

HOP coach Q Shillingford is delighted with the success of both Featherstone and Hunt.

He said: ‘Jack has come on in leaps and bounds.

‘He is working hard and making good progress.

‘Now he is facing a boy from Repton and will have it all to do.

‘But Jack has got good sparring, trains every day and is committed and dedicated. We know he will give it his all.

‘Joe Hunt is over the moon to make the national final.

‘He is working well and his dad is involved with him.

‘It’s great to see dads helping their children develop.

‘We have been able to teach him at a young age and he is now well conditioned as a result.’

Sid Williams’ charge in the schoolboys came to an end with the narrowest of defeats against last year’s finalist, Carmen Thomas.

After beating former national champion Luke Thompson, Thomas edged the verdict by picking up a 22-20 win.

Three HOP boxers were also in action in Wales last weekend at a show in Newport.

Mateusz Ziolkowski had too much for Blaenau’s Jordan Prosser as he grabbed a unanimous verdict.

Tasha Cole was another winner against Blaenau’s Lana Mochan, after his speed and efficient combinations saw the bout waved off in the second.

Heavyweight Greg Bridett’s power punching also saw him pick up a second-round stoppage of Gwent’s Andrew Maund.

Shillingford said: ‘The club is buzzing at the moment. The kids are doing really well.’