Burnley Boxer George wins British title

George Drinkwater
George Drinkwater

A YOUNG Burnley boxer embodied the endeavour and strength of his namesake Saint George after slaying the Dragons en route to becoming British number one.

Roche Amateur Boxing protégé George Drinkwater gallantly knocked out Welsh fighter Daniel Gethin to ride in to the final before proving too strong for Scotland’s Darren Shannon.

The 15-year-old pulverised his Swansea-based opponent and his big-hitting approach paid dividends as Daniel fell to the canvas in the second. The Welsh champion, who is trained by former welterweight boxer Colin Jones, had won 40 of his 42 fights prior to the bout.

“Colin’s fighters are really good and this lad was no exception,” said coach Brian Roche. “Daniel had won 40 of his 42 contests and had only lost two in internationals. But George stopped him in the second round. He was way too strong for him and he’s going to develop in to a very good fighter.”

The youngster then defeated Shannon, coached by Drew Black, in the final showdown, taking the title unanimously. “George beat Darren in the final by unanimous decision,” said Roche. “He’s just won the European Under 16s and has just returned from Belgrade. It was a massive win for George against a big southpaw.”

George’s boxing future is looking incredibly emphatic but, regardless of his obvious talent, Roche will nurture and develop his prospect with care and patience. He said: “He’s British champion now. Everybody’s talking about him. It’s an unbelievable achievement. He’s really started to pull himself together and he’s doing really well for himself.

“I don’t rush my kids. It will be some time yet before he turns professional; maybe when he’s 21. He’s still got plenty of time yet. He’s won his last 18 fights and 11 of those have been in championship and international fights. That’s some going because he’s had to beat the best of the crop that’s around. He’s beat them all.”

Roche added: “The world is his oyster now. I’ve had international coaches on the phone asking about George. This lad is going to take some beating. George is the best about in his age and weight category. He’s Britain’s number one now!”