Hunt for Minnows title ends in victory for starlet

Heart of Portsmouth's Robbie Matthews (red) on the way to victory over Jimmy Cooper
Heart of Portsmouth's Robbie Matthews (red) on the way to victory over Jimmy Cooper
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

Have your say

Joe Hunt’s meteoric rise continued after he was crowned National Minnows champion.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) boxer lifted the title in just his third bout as he overcame Darlington’s John Foster in Liverpool.

Hunt picked up a 19-14 win against Foster over three rounds to record his success at 32kg.

The 12-year-old impressed as he switched his attacks from head to body and got stronger as the contest went on, taking the fight to his southpaw opponent.

That saw the Admiral Lord Nelson pupil given the verdict and become the latest success from HOP to have picked up a title after undertaking the ABA Boxing Awards programme.

Coach Q Shillingford said: ‘It’s brilliant for Joe to pick up the title so early on and we’re really pleased for him.

‘It’s a fantastic result for him. It’s only his second year in the sport and he’s won it.

‘He’s come through our schools programme so we are particularly happy that he’s gone on to win a national title.

‘Joe is a role model to all youngsters showing what hard work, commitment and dedication can achieve if you put your mind to it.’

The opening rounds of the senior Southern Counties Championships also delivered local success as it was staged at the Charles Dickens Centre in Portsmouth.

Moneyfields’ Gumiso Warambwa shone after he defeated Crawley’s Jon Snape at 67kg.

And there was an outstanding performance from HOP’s Robbie Matthews as he defeated two-time national champion Jimmy Cooper.

A stirring clash between Matthews and the Lawrence ABC fighter saw Matthews come out on top at 60kg.

Neither man gave an inch in a great tear-up, but it was Matthews who was given the verdict.

Ryan Colquhoun gave a fine account of himself when he met Gravesham’s national champion Cheavon Clarke.

Colquhoun was leading going into the final round against Clarke, before being caught with a great shot with seconds remaining which stopped the contest.

Matthews will be joined in the Southern Counties final at Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday, March 12 by Warambwa.

The Moneyfields powerhouse came out firing against Snape and his pressure saw his opponent handed a first-round count.

Warambwa boxed to instruction from the second round onwards and went on to take a majority verdict.

He now goes on to take on Golden Ring’s highly-touted Tommy Watson in the Southern Counties final.

Coach Ted Harris said: ‘It was a hard contest for Gumiso against an experienced opponent but you always know he will give it everything he’s got.’