Rising boxing stars go west for glory

Jack Featherstone, right, will be bidding for the quarter-finals in Bristol
Jack Featherstone, right, will be bidding for the quarter-finals in Bristol
Danny Couzens. Picture: Natalie Mayhew, Butterfly Boxing

Couzens weighs up future after brave defeat

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The area’s rising boxing stars go west this weekend in the latest round of the National Schoolboy Championship.

The pre-quarter finals are staged in Bristol today and there are a host of local talents involved.

Heart of Portsmouth’s Sid Williams led the charge last weekend to become a Southern Counties champion in Farnham and advance in the process.

Williams delivered a shining display to overcome England international and former national champion Luke Thompson.

The Guildford opponent provided a rangy obstacle for Williams to overcome but speedy, accurate counter-punching did the trick for the Admiral Lord Nelson pupil.

Williams now meets another England international in previous schoolboys finalist, Carmen Thomas, from Lydney ABC.

Williams’ team-mate Robbie Patterson was unlucky as he was beaten by a close margin by Woking’s Joey West.

The 11-year-old from Stamshaw Junior School, who is a graduate of the ABA boxing awards programme, delivered an impressive display, though, as he continued his speedy progress.

It was a similar story for Moneyfields’ Connor Whittaker as he took part in a cracking battle with Sporting Ring’s Eli Saunders.

Saunders came out strongly but Whittaker let fly with combinations in reply as the two talents went at it.

Both boxers landed with hurtful shots in a see-saw contest but it was Saunders who edged the decision.

Whittaker could be proud of his efforts, though, with a display which bodes well for the future.

His trainer Ted Harris said: ‘It was a cracking bout and we have to be pleased with how Connor performed.

‘He showed a good variety of shots and is improving all the time.’

Whittaker’s club-mate will be in action today as Brady Samways goes into the class two under-34kg category against Oakmead’s Johnny Ray Porter.

Alfie Raine, who has moved over from Stacey to Moneyfields, has received a bye to the quarter-finals at 54kg in the same class.

Victory’s Albie Higgon will be going for a quarter-final place when he meets Poole’s Mackenzie Walker at 50kg.

Higgon has been progressing impressively with the Fareham club this season.

HOP’s Jack Featherstone will also be looking to shine against Gloucester’s Lee Knight after the Cams Hill pupil was given a walkover last time out.

Copnor’s Tom Ward became a minor’s Southern Counties champion, with the 11-year-old delivering a fine victory for his club.

Bob Taylor’s charge showed his hard work in the gym had paid off as he delivered an impressive performance.

HOP’s Joe Hunt will be out to pick up a win after the Admiral Lord Nelson pupil was given a bye last weekend.

Coach Q Shillingford is delighted with the progress from his club’s boxers.

He said: ‘We’re proud of them all and it’s great for amateur boxing in Portsmouth.

‘The more schools and boxing clubs that get involved in the ABA programme will mean more youngsters taking part in amateur boxing and could mean more champions for Portsmouth boxing clubs.’