Teenage boxers deliver international glory
ENGLAND'S call was answered in emphatic fashion at the GB Three Nations' Championship.
Fareham ace Louis Small and Heart of Portsmouth’s (HOP) Sonny Driscoll produced golden performances on the international stage in Scotland.
Both delivered emphatic victories as they stepped up to perform for their country against the cream of Welsh and Scottish talent.
Small picked up a unanimous win in the final against Scotland’s Jordan Spence in their meeting at 52kg.
The 17-year-old showed impressive footwork and produced accurate shots against his rival.
The bout developed into a scrappier affair, but it was the cleaner work and shots with both hands which meant Small took the victory.
Now the fast-emerging talent has been selected for GB training and identified for their talent pathway.
Fareham matchmaker, Shellie Whiffin, believes Small is gaining the reward for his hard work.
She said: ‘It’s the first time Louis has boxed for England and he did brilliantly.
‘He stayed on his toes in the first round and showed his punching power.
‘In the second he stepped it up and the other boy started to look tired.
‘That made it scrappier, but Louis was catching him quite a lot.
‘It was great to get the win and he’s got a lovely gold medal for it.
‘And to get the letter from GB for training just tops it all off.’
Driscoll was in action twice to secure his gold medal, defeating the Scottish champion before going on to topple Welsh champ Alex O’Sullivan in the final.
That meant the 15-year-old came out on top at 54kg for his country.
That success was made all the more impressive with Driscoll receiving the call just last Tuesday to take part.
But with the Cowplain School pupil keeping himself in good condition he was able to make weight knowing he was in good condition.
And that led to him also picking up a gold medal.
HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, said: ‘To box how he did when getting the call so late was outstanding from Sonny.
‘Fortunately, he always ticks over and is committed to the sport, so he was ready to go.
‘He boxed excellently. The Scottish champion was a touch come-forward boxer and it was a no-holds-barred contest.
‘The final was more of a tactical bout but Sonny used his skill and footwork to good effect.
‘Sonny has had great support from the coaches in the club, including the likes of George Smith, to help him get to this point.
‘He showed his confidence and experience to prove he’s the number one in the UK.
‘And now he’s taken that first step into international boxing.’