Three Peterborough boxers will be challenging for national glory at the weekend when they box at the National Schoolboy Championship finals in Crawley.
Peterborough Police Amateur Boxing Club pair Shae Gowler and Alfie Baker and rising Top Yard School of Boxing star Steve Winters will be flying the city flag at the big event after coming through the quarter-final stage in Sudbury last weekend.
They’ll box in the semi-finals on Saturday and hopefully in the finals on Sunday.
Eastern Counties 38.5kg champion Gowler (13) from Fletton took on unbeaten Home Counties champion Alfie Tierney from top UK amateur club Pinewood ABC in his quarter-final.
Tierney was a flashy opponent but for all his skills he couldn’t match Gowler’s workrate.
The Peterborough boxer dominated every round, overpowering Tierney with quality combinations from a variety of different angles.
It was a clinical, quality performance from Gowler earning him a well-deserved points win.
With Baker already through to the 54kg semis on a bye , Imraan Shirazi (13) from Bretton was looking to make it a terrific treble for the city club.
He boxed Johnny Fitzharris from Pinewood ABC in the 37kg quarter-finals but unfortunately missed out on points against a busier opponent.
Top Yard had two boxers in action at the quarter-final stage and Winters (13) made it through to Saturday’s 42-44kg semis in fine style.
He was having only his fifh bout whereas his opponent, tournament favourite Luke Hilden from Kent Gloves, was having his 17th contest.
And Winters caused a massive upset by winning on a split decision.
Hilden was a tall, rangy and tidy boxer who was looking to outsmart Winters but the Top Yard fighter took the fight to Hilden and never let him settle. He possessed a higher workrate and his grittiness gave him the edge throughout the bout.
The second Top Yard contender was Saif Ali (13). He was competing in the 38.5-40kg class and was also up against one of the favourites to win the competition, Francis Doherty from Pinewood ABC.
Ali did well enough in the first round against a shorter, stocky and very strong opponent but Doherty’s accuracy with the jab gave him the second and he continued to land the cleaner shots in the third forcing the referee to stop the bout very prematurely. Although Ali was behind on points he was never hurt and was always in the fight.