Home comforts for young boxing prospects

The Heart of Portsmouth squad are ready for action
The Heart of Portsmouth squad are ready for action
  • Portsmouth hosts latest round of championship
  • Southern Counties titles up for grabs
  • Over 20 bouts set to be held by Stacey
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A PLACE in the quarter-finals of England Boxing Schools Championships is up for grabs tomorrow.

And a host of boxers will be roared on by their home crowd as they go for Southern Counties titles.

There’s quite a few who are capable of going a long way.

Moneyfields, Gosport, Wickham and Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) are all represented with their talents out to make a big impact.

After Gosport staged the last round of action, the focus will now switch to Stacey ABC.

Involvement spreads right across the weights with Wickham’s Blu Bowers taking on Mole Valley’s Jack Smith at 29.5kg.

At the other end of the spectrum, Gosport’s Brandon Gooding’s meets Golden Ring’s Lewis Fuller at 59kg.

HOP’s Harvey Lane (50kg) and reigning champion Ollie Fenton (32.5kg) are both involved. Lane takes on Cooper Boys’ George Ging with Fenton meeting Guildford’s John Hilden.

Moneyfields’ Dudley Jennings tackles Sporting Rings’ William Rusher at 40kg.

The likes of Sonny Driscoll, Paris Williams and national champ Harry Brown have all already advanced to the quarters.

That is being held at HOP’s Charter Academy home on May 16.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight honorary secretary and Stacey coach, Yinka Bello, has called on the community to come out and back the boxers.

He feels they will be lifted by the prospect of boxing on home soil.

Bello said: ‘We’re looking forward to it.

‘Gosport did the last round and we, as Stacey, are doing it this weekend.

‘We’ve got 22 bouts on the programme and they are standing up.

‘There’s a great deal of Hampshire boys boxing.

‘There’s everyone from Tadley, Golden Ring, Poseidon, Eastleigh and Hedge End involved.

‘On top of that, there’s a number of boxers from local clubs to go with the ones who have made the next stage.

‘Jennings, Ollie Fenton, Harvey Lane are all local lads who are involved.

‘There’s a fair pool of Hampshire boxers in there.

‘It will be interesting to see them follow through to the next round.

‘There’s quite a few who are capable of going a long way.

‘The quarter-finals are also in Portsmouth.

‘Hampshire won the bid and we dished it out.

‘We have a good focus on Hampshire so far and it’s good for the boxers to compete locally.’

The Schoolboy Championships will also be acting as the Minors’ Championships, giving young boxers their first experience of boxing competitively.

That will focus on boxers born in 2003, alongside those born in 2001 and 2002.

Bello said: ‘The championships includes minors as well.

‘So it will give young lads their first bit of experience up to southern county level

‘It gives them their first exposure ahead of next season.’

The England Boxing Schools Championships is being hosted by Stacey at Charles Dickens Sports Centre on Lake Road in Portsmouth. Boxing begins at 12.45pm with tickets costing £15 (adults) and £8 (15 and under).