PORTSMOUTH stood strong in the face of the London onslaught at the England Boxing Schoolboy Championships.
Heart of Portsmouth’s (HOP) Ollie Fenton and Sonny Driscoll pulled off fantastic victories against the might of amateur powerhouse Repton on Saturday.
Repton delivered unprecedented input from one outfit, as Charter Academy hosted the national quarter-finals.
But Fenton and Driscoll shone with classy displays to pick up standout wins in front of a packed home crowd.
And there were gutsy efforts from Team Wiseman’s Liam Wiseman and Tyler Hallawell, along with HOP’s brave Harry Brown in defeat.
Fenton took on Patrick Connors at 32.5kg and showed the talent which saw has already seen him pick up a national title on the way to a points win.
And, in a dramatic contest, Driscoll withstood a first-round onslaught to topple Roberto Lacourt with an outstanding effort at 34kg.
Driscoll’s timing and impressive rearhand shots made the difference and showed why he’s one to look out for in next weekend’s semi-finals in Bristol.
Brown took on the talented David Tierney at 40kg but wasn’t overawed by the challenge for a second.
His elusiveness and rangy style stood out against an opponent with a similar style.
But it was Tierney who edged it with a split decision, although Brown could take immense pride in his performance.
It was a similar story for Liam Wiseman, who put a difficult training period to one side to take on Joseph King at 44.5kg.
A broken nose restricted Wiseman’s sparring, but you wouldn’t have known it from his performance.
King was a classy opponent, though, and despite a late charge from the Wecock boxer, took a unanimous win.
Hallawell was also beaten by George Mitchell at 41.5kg but earned the appreciation of his coaching team with his display.
HOP’s Paris Williams was given a walkover at 46kg in the female category as the attention turns to next weekend’s semis in Bristol.