Portsmouth teenagers Josh Pritchard and Mateus Ziowlski will bid for national glory later this month after booking their place at the CYP finals at the weekend.
Moneyfields ABC’s Pritchard stormed through to the class B finals at Elland Road, Leeds on November 25, having ousted Brompton’s Jack Budge in a keenly-contested bout in the last four of the CYP national competition at the Mountbatten Centre.
The 17-year-old Pritchard had the mental edge over his opponent after beating him just six weeks ago and just about maintained the upper hand in an otherwise even clash.
That sealed a showdown with Marc Leach of Ardwick in 10 days time.
Heart of Portsmouth’s Ziowlski, meanwhile, breezed through to the finals without needing to get his gloves on after opponent Wayne Prince pulled out through injury on the eve of the fight.
Poland-born 15-year-old Ziowlski – who has now lived in Portsmouth for three years – faces a meeting with West Leeds’ Dexter Thomas at the class A finals on November 24 at Harlow Greyhound Stadium.
HOP coach and event manager Q Shillingford said: ‘It’s great for the area that Portsmouth has got two really talented boxers in the finals and there was a good crowd roaring them on.
‘Mateus came to Portsmouth when he was 12 and was very quiet.
‘He did the boxing awards, has now won seven out of his nine bouts and is in a national final.
‘He’s a dedicated young man but he’s been boxing for only two-and-a-half years and he’s a real role model for other youngsters.
‘He’s got a massive future and we’re expecting a lot of him.
‘Josh is a talented kid who works hard and he lost by just one point in the final last year.
‘We’ve got two good guys representing Portsmouth who will be going all out to win.’
There was injury heartache, however, for another of last year’s finalists, Keiran Rodden, who suffered knee ligament damage in training in the lead-up to his bout with Yusif Safa, which forced his withdrawal.
Shillingford said: ‘Kieran had to be withdrawn because he damaged ligaments in his knee.
‘It was terrible luck for him because he was looking really good.’
There was also disappointment for Alfie Steeves and Harvey Blair in their quest for glory as they went down to defeats.
Portsmouth ABC’s Steeves lost on points to Karl Davis of Billericay, while Gosport’s Blair suffered the same fate in his encounter with Daniel Woledge of St Mary’s ABC.
Shillingford said: ‘They both gave their all but, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be this time.’