National finals come to Portsmouth
THE FINALS of the England Boxing Junior Championships are coming to Portsmouth this weekend.
The Mountbatten Centre is set to host a two-day bonanza of amateur boxing action this Saturday and Sunday.
That means the best emerging young boxing talent in the nation are set to descend on the city.
This year’s event also incorporates the Junior Cadet Championships, ramping up the quality and depth of boxing on show.
Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) will be sending Paris Williams into the competition as she aims to make her mark.
And Gosport’s Amy Cooper is also scheduled to battle it out against the best young talent in the business.
Bringing the national championships to the city represents another coup for the sport in Portsmouth.
HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, backed Williams to make her mark and urged boxing fans to get behind the event.
He said: ‘We’ve got Paris going in and hoping to do well.
‘She has been training hard and she is confident about what she is capable of achieving.
‘A girl is coming down from the north west and one from Hastings at her weight.
‘There’ll be a walkover at her weight and then the other two will box for a place in the final.
‘There will two rings over two days with lots of top-class boxing to be watched.
‘The best young boxers from all the country are going to be here.
‘It’s brilliant that the people who run the sport want to come down and stage it here.
‘I put that down to the success of boxing in the city and the progress that has been made.
‘It will be something for the people of Portsmouth to get behind.’
Meanwhile, HOP stage their own jam-packed show at Charter Community Sports Centre on Saturday.
The open event will see around 15 bouts taking place with a heavy HOP involvement.
There will be boxers coming from across the south aiming to pick up success.
Boxing fans will be left with a choice with the semis of the junior championships the same day.
Shillingford said: ‘It’s a real amateur boxing weekend for Portsmouth.
‘There’s going to be a lot of local talent being showcased at our event.
‘Most of the bouts will feature HOP boxers and there are a lot of local youngsters competing. We want everyone to come along, support our juniors and get behind boxing here.
‘People have the choice but hopefully both events are well supported.’
The event starts at 12.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (16 and over) and £5 under-16s).