Sid shows world class in defeat

Sid Williams
Sid Williams
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Conor Chaplin's 94th-minute winner earned Pompey three hard-earned points from their visit to Stadium MK Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans keen to see more of Chaplin

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Sid Williams went down fighting as he bowed out of AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships by the narrowest of margins.

But Moneyfields’ fast-emerging ace has been backed to return to the international stage after his outstanding breakthrough season.

Williams dropped an agonisingly close split decision to Armenia’s Garnik Papikyan in Kiev.

The margins proved miniscule as both boxers came forward and gave it their all in the middle of the ring.

But it was his opponent who edged the verdict in a contest which could have easily have gone the other way.

Williams can be proud of his efforts, however, after stepping up to world level in an amazing year of progress.

His coach, Aaron Pritchard, spoke of his club’s pride at not only the 52kg talent’s success but also his attitude.

Pritchard said: ‘Sid just got pipped but it was a close, close decision.

‘One judge went with him and two the other way.

‘It was a very close decision and the England judges are very happy with his performance and attitude.

‘His opponent was vastly experienced.

‘He was a tall come-forward type.

‘They both had a go in the middle of the ring but Sid lost by a fraction.

‘But it doesn’t get any bigger than a Junior World Championships.

‘Not many people can say they’ve boxed at that level.

‘To go out to the Ukraine for 11 days and be with the rest of the England squad is great for Sid to learn from.

‘It was Sid’s first time boxing at anywhere near that level.

‘The England coaches were pleased and spoke really highly of him.’

‘He gave it his best shot.

‘He was unlucky on the day but it’s a massive achievement for Sid to be there.’

Williams will now be afforded a short period of rest after an incessant campaign of action.

That has taken him to the final of the Junior ABA Championships and a silver medal at the Tri-Nations Championships before moving on to world level.

Williams has now been given a taste of what is needed to operate at elite class.

His target is now to return there in his next season of action.

Pritchard said: ‘Sid’s relatively inexperienced at this level.

‘It was his first season at national level.

‘He has gone on to box in the Tri-Nations.

‘Now he’s been selected to box at the World Championships.

‘It’s a huge step up in class and all taken place in one season

‘Now he deserves a rest because he’s not had a break in 13 months.

‘He was initially disappointed with the result.

‘But he has had an unbelievable season.

‘Now we are targeting national titles next season and want to get to the Tri-Nations in Wales.

‘What he has achieved is brilliant for our club and the area.

‘I think it shows you don’t have to have all the best facilities to produce champions.

‘We make up for it with work ethic.’