Burnley boxer claims title as Smith maintains impressive record

Will 'Bad-Boy' Smith, right, with Robin Reid
Will 'Bad-Boy' Smith, right, with Robin Reid

Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club’s young pugilists continued their impressive on-the-road records on Friday.

The very active Will ‘Bad-Boy’ Smith (15) faced L. Booth (Castle Hill ABC), hoping to keep his perfect season intact at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton.

Matched in height and in a very small ring, it looked like a stern test for the Harle Syke boxer, with Booth on home soil and with a large vocal crowd, the stage was set for a thriller.

The opening round saw both boys jostle for centre ring, and exchanges were brief but measured, with Smith scoring well with his rear hand.

The second round was again Smith’s, moving well, keeping Booth on the back foot, catching him with straight hands through-out.

The third and final was the Blessed Trinity’s Year 11 pupil’s best, coming out with a blast of energy, connecting with every advance, Smith’s extreme fitness levels became apparent, as lead hand, rear hand combinations kept penetrating and impressing the judges.

Smith’s hand was raised the winner with another unanimous decision.

Sandygate’s North West 43kg Minor’s Champion Reiko “Riot” Rickwood (12) visited Merseyside again in the England Boxing (ABA) National semi-final at Liverpool against the Tyne Tees/Midlands 43kg champion A. Stevens (Lambert Street ABC).

The first round was a torrid affair, with both boys not wishing to take a back foot, such were the stakes.

Rickwood’s reach paid off as his long jabs found their way through Stevens’ tidy guard.

The second was the Hameldon Year 7 pupil’s best, constant work while in the clinches paying off, taking the sturdy Stevens out of his stride.

In the third and final round, sensing a loss, Stevens pushed forward trying to unsettle the Sandygate starlet to no avail, as Rickwood returned to long range punching, switching his target area throughout from head to body.

Both lads were pensive awaiting the verdict, and to great applause, Rickwood’s was raised the victor in this tough contest.

North of England champion Rickwood now boxes the South of England champion Basingstoke’s A. Davies (Tadley ABC) in a couple of weeks in Manchester.

Smith also graces the ring in championship action during April, in the England Boxing Junior Championship along with England’s number three Brett Windle (15), Regan Driver (15) and “Bam-Bam” Brendan Collins (14).