Young Newark amateur boxers Alfie Briggs-Price and Sam Hardy were both back in the ring last weekend, representing Newark Amateur Boxing Club in the England Boxing National Junior Championships held at Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex.
Up against southpaw Lewis Robinson from Liverpool’s Gemini ABC, the favourite in this year’s semi-finals with 13 wins and only two losses, Alfie started quickly, taking control from the off with fast combinations.
Listening to his corner, he continued to dominate and work on both the inside and outside, leaving his opponent unable to cope with the pressure and getting a warning for holding.
“Iron sharpens iron is a familiar phrase in the boxing world and one that definitely applies to Alfie,” said Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden.
“If I were to give an award for the most improved boxer at Newark ABC, it would be given to him. His dedication and commitment both in training and when boxing have been first class, his technique continues to improve and I told everyone that if he performed at his best he’d be a difficult man to beat.
“And he was just that, putting on an outstanding performance that definitely caught the attention of England Boxing coaches there talent spotting as he breezed through the semi-final to go onto Sunday’s final against Callum Kimore-Walsh from High Wycombe.”
Although his opponent, whose record stood at 11 wins and three losses, came out of the blocks quickly, Alfie soon settled down to control the exchanges and take the first round.
Instructed by his coach Steve Williams to make a faster start for the second, the Newark boxer made the necessary adjustments and did exactly that. Round two saw him pushing and pressing his opponent, landing some big shots at the end of every exchange to win the round.
“Knowing that the third round is the most important one in the eyes of judges and realising that his opponent was tiring and not coping well with his pressure, Alfie boxed brilliantly on front, side and back foot to dominate this one too,” said Dean.
“We all thought he was sure to be crowned this year’s Champion but, much to the surprise of everyone in attendance, a split decision was announced against Alfie and the Male Junior Under 66kg title went to his opponent.
“Although Alfie was devastated not to get the nod after such an amazing performance that was definitely deserving of a win, his improvements have been off the Richter scale over last 12 months. And, as the picture above shows, it goes without saying that he was elated by the England Talent Team’s response to his performance over the weekend, which saw him being handed an official invitation to represent England in the GB Junior and Youth Tri Nations taking place from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 June 2022.”
Saturday also saw two-time National Champion and last year’s Silver Medallist Sam in action in the semi-finals.
“Although everyone thought he’d just nicked it, Sam under-performed this time around,” said Dean. “But he was still unfortunate to lose on a split against Fitness Guru’s Archie Bell, whose record stood at 13 wins and four losses.
“That said, Sam has proved time and time again he is the one to beat in National Championship contests and I’m sure we’ll see his hand being raised again sooner rather than later.”