Sandygate ABC’s Jerome Lawton (15) earned a place in the ABA Schoolboy Quarter-Finals after defeating awkward Southpaw and Midlands Counties champion M. Owen (Donnington ABC).
The first round was a tepid affair with both boxers feeling each other out with their clash of stances, but the Hameldon Year 10 pupil kept centre and moved well, throwing his now trademark barrage of hooks and uppercuts, finished with a rigid straight to the head as he went to the stool 8-6 up.
The second saw a revitalised and focused Lawton come out and dominate, circling to his left and increasing his right hands and left hooks, scoring with relative ease.
His work rate doubled and Owen began to feel the force of Lawton, who seemed more at ease in the squared circle with a left-hander, and the Olympic-style scoring had the Sandygate boxer an impressive 22-13 ahead.
The third and final two-minute round showed how fit the much-fancied Lawton has become, never letting up for one moment. Owen showed great courage and started the round strongly, but the tireless workrate of Lawton and punch-rate of well over 100 per round saw the thrice Regional Schoolboy champion victorious again with a final score of 30-20.
Sandygate stablemate Sam Tucker (14) was not so fortunate in his bout against B. Perkins (Solihull ABC), winning the first round 5-2, the second 10-8, only for the last round to be scored 15-15 meaning the verdict had to go to a punch countback, with the final outcome being the Midlands boxer winning 27-23, much to the displeasure of the ringside crowd.
Coach Nik Tucker said: “Jerome was awesome once more, he really had to dig deep and alter his style. After the first he seemed to coast, and feel more comfortable scoring high numbers once again. Sam was at the end of a very bad verdict but that’s just how it goes sometimes.”
Lawton now faces the Tyne-Tees Area champion this weekend, again in Gorton. Also still in the competition is 2011 National ABA Minors finalist James Kimberley (12), who has been drawn in the ABA Schoolboy Semi-Final against Selby’s N.Clarkson (Mickey’s ABC).