Super Hooper set for title tilt

Owen Hooper, right, with Graham Thomson is on the brink of national glory
Owen Hooper, right, with Graham Thomson is on the brink of national glory
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MONEYFIELDS’ Owen Hooper today stands on the brink of national glory.

Hooper has progressed to the England Boxing Junior Development Championships final in Kent.

The 16-year-old has underlined his potential with a run to the last round of the competition that showcases emerging talent.

Some fine displays culminated in a win over Broad Street’s Frankie Edwards at the semi-final stage last weekend.

Edwards had to overcome a standing count before going on to record a unanimous success.

Now Horsley Hill’s Daniel Sparks will provide the opposition as Hooper’s bid to take the crown at 80kg in Class B continues in Kent today.

And the Moneys team, including the likes of Colin Hooker, Graham Thomson and Tony Knowles, are confident he will rise to the occasion.

Hooker believes Hooper is showing he has the strength to make his mark.

He said: ‘Owen has shot up in weight and is strong kid now.

‘We know he will go in there prepared and ready to give it his all.

‘He has an opponent with a good record but has done well himself.

‘He got to the semis in the schools last season, which is a good achievement.

‘Owen won unanimously but got caught with a shot in the throat.

‘He deserved to win, though, and has shown everyone what he can do.’

Meanwhile, Lucas Ballingall underlined his potential with a win in his first bout at senior level.

Ballingall overcame Downend’s Jomel Cabilogan over three rounds with a fine display.

Despite taking on a opponent with 60 contests under his belt, and giving away three years in age, Ballingall controlled the action from start to finish.

His Moneys team-mate, Dudley Jennings, 11, has started his amateur career with three wins from four bouts. And Bobby Prior, 10, has just completed his fourth skills bout ahead of stepping into competitive action in 2015.

Hooker believes things are looking bright for his stable of boxers.

He said: ‘Lucas showed his skill – and maturity beyond his years.

‘We have always known he is a special talent and now it is coming out.

‘Not only that, but he is maturing into an excellent young man.

‘He is so respectful and a joy to train.

‘His attitude is spot on. He’s always up for it and he’s a delight to work with.

‘We want to keep him busy after Christmas because he’ll stay amateur this year.

‘Dudley has the ability to go all the way and Bobby will be ready to show his talent next year.

‘Chimes ABC and Moneyfields have amalgamated.

‘Things are coming along nicely at the club.

‘It’s gone really well and we’re pleased with things.

‘There are a good bunch of boxers, especially in the younger ages.

‘There is a lot of quality coming through at the club and the future is looking bright.’