PORTSMOUTH’s army of emerging stars seized their moment on the amateur boxing big stage.
Walid Adenas and Joe Butler both emerged victorious on home soil to claim a National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs’ Championships final place.
For Portsmouth to have so many boxers at national level is amazing.Q Shillingford
There were also brave defeats in a string of nip-and-tuck contests for the host of others boxers involved in the semi-finals of the event.
Heart of Portsmouth’s (HOP) Bailey Fowler (Class B, 52kg), Tyler Hall (Class B, 60kg) and Jack Fenton (Class B, 70kg) all delivered gutsy efforts in defeat.
Duane Foster (52kg, Class C) saw the decision go against him in a contest which could have easily gone the other way against Northolt’s James McDonagh.
Taylor Smith (Class B, 63kg) stepped up against an opponent who was vastly-more experienced in Patsy Smith, but saw the verdict go against her.
But HOP’s Adenas powered past Louis Payne at 69kg in Class C to book his final spot.
HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, saw his club host the event successfully.
He was delighted with how his boxers performed in their big moments.
Shillingford said: ‘The day was absolutely brilliant and the place was packed.
‘For Portsmouth to have so many boxers at national level is amazing.
‘Duane Foster, Tyler Hall, Jack Fenton and Bailey Fowler were all in contests which could have gone the other way.
‘No-one would have complained if they’d won, it was that close.
‘Moneyfields’ Joe Butler was absolutely brilliant and Walid was in a war.
‘The contest lived up to all expectations. He overpowered his opponent with his punch volume and power.
‘The day was perfect, with officials and boxers saying it’s the best event they’d been to.
‘The officials were great and I am so proud of the efforts of all of our coaches.’
Moneyfields’ Owen Hooper saw his title bid come up short against Earlsfield’s Omar Augusting (81kg Class C).
And Team Wiseman’s Ainsley Hughes (54kg, Class B) was a brave points loser to Hooks ABC’s Edward Barrett.
But Butler stood out as one of the shining lights of the semi-finals as he unanimously outpointed Earlsfield’s Frankie Arnold to take his spot in Friday’s final.
He will face Jake Harrison from respected Liverpool-based outfit Gemini ABC.
Moneyfields coach, Colin Hooker, was disappointed with Hooper’s effort.
But he was delighted with Butler’s progress as he highlighted the strides he’s making.
Hooker said: ‘Joe won comfortably and boxed really well.
‘The lad couldn’t handle Joe’s movement and how sharp he was.
‘Joe kept him on the back foot where he wasn’t comfortable, didn’t give him the space and won every round.
‘Owen lost and was a little disappointing. He knows he let himself down a bit, but is ready to kick on for the youth championships.
‘Joe now has a lad he has beaten before in the final.
‘But he comes from a top club and is a good talent. Joe has put the work in and will be ready for him.’