Schoolboys are one step from national final

Joe Hunt is fighting for a minnows title
Joe Hunt is fighting for a minnows title
Mickey Parker fought at the O2 just 72 hours after chopping off the tip of his right index finger. Picture: Habibur Rahman

WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES: Leigh Park boxer’s glory after gruesome loss of fingertip

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A trio of top schoolboy talent stand one step away from national finals.

Albie Higgon, Alfie Raine and Jack Featherstone all go into the National Schoolboys’ semi-finals in Farnham this weekend gunning for glory.

And Heart of Portsmouth’s Joe Hunt is after a National Minnows’ title when he boxes in Liverpool.

Hunt has made sterling progress after completing the National Boxing Award programme, and the 11-year-old is now aiming for victory while in the formative stages of his boxing career.

Higgon, of Victory, has had a campaign to remember and he will be hoping to go a step further when he meets Repton’s Jimmy Smith.

Higgon will take on his opponent at 50kg in their Class 2 clash.

Moneyfields’ Raine will also have a tough task as he meets Lynn ABC rival Robert Dubois at under 54kg in the same class.

And Featherstone takes on Repton’s Andre Wallace as he aims for success at 42kg.

HOP coach Q Shillingford knows a tough task lies ahead for the boxer but has backed him not to be overawed by the occasion.

Shillingford said: ‘Jack has a top-rated boxer from Repton.

‘He’s unbeaten in nine but Jack has got a similar amount of wins and has more experience. You have to expect to meet these boys the nearer you get to the final.

‘But Jack has great experience, is well conditioned and prepared.

‘There are no shortcuts. Jack has trained hard and is looking forward to it.’

Moneyfields’ Brady Samways had his postponed quarter-final meeting with Oakmead’s Johnny Ray Porter last weekend.

Samways had the decision go against him but could be pleased with his effort against a highly-touted opponent.

Moneyfields coach Ted Harris praised his efforts in the 34kg clash.

And Harris backed Raine to give a good account of himself in the semis.

Harris said: ‘Brady lost in a good contest against an opponent who was really rated as a strong kid.

‘Everyone was saying he’d be too strong but Brady proved that wasn’t the case.

‘It’s probably the best I’ve seen Brady box. There wasn’t a lot in it. I think he has what it takes to come back and beat him next season.

‘Brady’s coming and improving all the time and showed that.

‘Alfie has an opponent who has come through and beat opponents from top clubs.

‘He’s a fair boy but Alfie has worked hard and is prepared.’