Just a few days after securing a Gold Medal at the 2021 MTK Global Lonsdale Box Cup, Newark’s Sam Hardy was celebrating another accolade when his name was added to this year’s England Boxing Roll of Honours list.
The 15-year old from Newark Amateur Boxing Club heard the news following his recent semi-final win and final of England Boxing’s 2021 National Junior Championships.
With two National Championships to his name already, Sam was representing his town and his club at Hereford Sixth Form College on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October, a last-minute change of both date and venue for the event which was originally scheduled to take place in Nottingham but moved for child welfare and safety reasons.
“Despite the changes, Sam went out and put on an exceptional performance,” said Dean Sugden, head coach for Newark ABC.
“He got off to a great start on semi-final day, securing a big win against High Fell’s Kammrin Mohammed, an opponent with 13 wins and five losses to his record.
“After a nervous first round finding his pace and timing, Sam went up through the gears in the second before taking it to another level in the third to secure the victory.
“Saturday also saw another young amateur from Newark in the semi-finals and, although she lost to Madison Adkins from Bodyshots Redditch, I’m certain it won’t be long before 16-year old Chloe Davies is back to winning ways.”
In Sunday’s finals Sam was matched against fellow England International Frank Middleton from West Ham, whose record stood at 12 wins and only three losses.
“With both of them holding National titles and having represented their country, this one looked set to be an absolute classic,” added Dean.
“And it definitely didn’t disappoint, with Sam making all the moves in the first round and putting on the pressure from the get-go, following the game plan that was to work the body of his opponent, staying close and keeping a high work rate.
“After a close first round, the Newark corner instructed Sam to keep up that work rate while remaining relaxed and focusing on speed. And he did just that in the second, frustrating Frank as he switched stance and landed combos at will, leaving the West Ham corner clearly not happy with their boxer’s performance at the end of the round and Sam’s team confident going into the third.
“Despite the fact that it was a really close last round, we felt Sam landed the more significant scoring punches and were surprised when the decision went to his opponent whose team had a total of nine boxers in the finals, seven of whom took gold.
“So at the end of the two-day event we had to settle for silver and runner-up in the national -60kg open class final – not the result we’d hoped for but we stick by our belief that we win, we lose and we learn together as a team.
“Sam will be back in the ring on Friday 19 November on the card of NABC’s Home Show at Farndon Memorial Hall, alongside several of his fellow club members including Mikey Lyndsey and Alfie Briggs-Price boxing for East Midlands Challenge Belts, in a ticket-only event that’s already sold out and guaranteed to be action-packed throughout.”