Minor Harry after major national title

Greg Bridet, left, of Heart of Portsmouth
Greg Bridet, left, of Heart of Portsmouth
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Harry Needham stands on the brink of ABA Schoolboy Championship glory this weekend.

Needham will aim to grab a national title at minor level when he bids for success in Northumberland.

And at the other end of the amateur boxing age spectrum, the area’s top adult talent are aiming to pick up honours in the Southern Counties finals of the ABA Championships.

The likes of Heart of Portsmouth trio Greg Bridet, Ryan Colquhoun and Robbie Matthews, Leigh Park’s Shane Govan and Copnor’s John Weeks will be in action in Kent.

Ted Harris Boxing Academy’s Needham will be aiming to make his mark at 42kg as he goes in against Roche ABC’s Oathey Jones.

He has been backed by his trainer Harris to make a strong impression and use his rangy skills to good effect on the big stage.

Harris said: ‘Harry’s ready to go and give it a real good shot. He’s a fit lad and he’s prepared for the final.

‘Harry’s a tall and rangy boy and is unbeaten at the moment in five contests.

‘He’s a good, little boxer and I rate him highly.

‘It’s a good style he has. He uses long punches and is extra tall for his age.

‘On top of that, he is pretty accurate, too. That will hold him in good stead.

‘It won’t be easy but hopefully we get a fair crack at it.’

Copnor’s Weeks will go in against Woking bruiser Nick Webb in the ABAs in Kent in the over 91kg category.

And News Sports Awards sportsman of the year runner-up Bridet will aim to build on his success in the novices as he meets Willingdon Trees’ Simon Haddon at 91kg.

Colquhoun has a tricky test against Gravesham’s Cheavon Clarke in a competitive 81kg division.

The most intriguing clash of the finals comes at 60kg, though, where last year’s ABA semi-finalist Matthews meets Govan, who has enjoyed previous novices success.

Professional fight favourite Tony Oakey, who soared to multiple ABA honours as an amateur, has been helping ready Govan for the clash.

Oakey said: ‘Shane’s in with a more experienced boy who got to the semis last year. He has put in so much work, though, and dedicated himself.

‘It’s a local derby and he has a chance of pulling off an upset.’