Young boxers take first steps into competitive careers

May 07 2022
Young boxers take first steps into competitive careers

THE annual Varsity match at Bristol University Students Union saw the latest crop of boxers trained at the Harry Crook Centre take their first steps of their careers.

Non-competitive skills bouts opened the show, with 10-year-old Lacey Holloway against Darcie Evans of Black Country boxing academy Wolverhampton. Three rounds demonstrated superb quality skills from both girls that had the audience on their feet in appreciation at the end.

Downend Boxing Club team mate Sienna Das followed with another skills contest, facing Olivia Jackson of Wednesbury in another faced-paced bout.

Making his competitive debut was 12-year-old Tommy Pring, who took to the ring against Reiss Handley, of Wednesbury. 

A lively start saw furious action take place in the centre ring before the Downend boxer created space and caught his opponent with a solid right hand.  At the commencement of the second round Tommy threw the right again, prompting referee Ken Brain to call a halt. 

Also making his competitive debut was the latest boxer from the Smith family, 10 year old Kadon.  Older brother Callum is a professional, with Bradley also boxing and coaching with sister Alexa at the Downend club.

Kadon took to the ring against Tabara Poplin of Black Country boxing academy and looked like he had been there many times before, with a beaming smile throughout. 

The tough Midlands boxer kept attacking strongly but Kadon danced and moved, countering clearly, to take a unanimous decision.

It was a very successful start for the youngsters and their efforts were rewarded by the well-refreshed student audience, as they cheered them from the building!

Tommy Pring became Downend boxing's latest Western Counties champion on April 23.

Tommy and club mate Elijah Sanchez, also 12, entered the England Boxing National Schools Championships for the first time and have both now progressed to the quarter-final stages against Southern Counties on May 7.

Tommy had no opponent in the local round, so progressed to face Devonport boxer Arthur Sheppard in Exmouth. The first round was taken by the tough Plymouth boxer but Tommy found his range the second and third rounds, throwing fast long-range shots which clearly won the unanimous judges' decision.  

Kadon Smith, Charlie Bell, Eloise Edwards, Vinnie Bush, Tom Davies and - returning to competition after a break of some years – Andrew Cutting will all box in Stroud on May 7. 

Returning to Bristol on Sunday 15, debutants Charlie Matthias and Sam Pavey will appear, alongside Mya Das and another outing for Eloise Edwards.

Craig Turner