Sandygate boxers into last four

James Kimberley and Brett Windle with Anthony Crolla
James Kimberley and Brett Windle with Anthony Crolla

THREE of Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club’s North West champion’s boxed in the National ABA 2013 Schoolboy Quarter-Finals at the Havercroft Sports Centre, Wakefield against their Yorkshire Champion counterparts.

The ever-improving Brett “Wrekin” Windle (14) faced J. Phillips (West Way ABC, Scunthorpe) at 50kg in what was a real cracking affair.

The first two-minute round set the scene to this evenly-matched competition, with both boys going at it hammer and tongs.

Windle’s all-out attacking style was met head on by the tough Phillips, with both lads not wishing to take a step back,

Windle’s body shots were connecting well, giving chance to switch attack to the head before turning straight back to the trunk.

Frustrated with his lack of bullying, Phillips let slip a very low blow which got a stern warning from the referee.

This only seemed to give Windle the wish to punish, and when action resumed, he unleashed a flurry of blows, forcing his opposite number onto the ropes.

Relentlessly hitting the body at will, Windle ended the round on a high.

The second saw a more subdued Phillips try and box in a more traditional manner, rellying on a longer reach, playing into the Shuttleworth Year 10 pupil’s hands.

Windle bobbed and weaved under the lead and set to work on the body in controlled phases, keeping the pressure and work rate throughout the round.

The third and final round showed just why the Rosegrove fighter is impressing everyone, maintaining his high tempo tactics, eager to impress the five major panel judges ringside

Brett left them in no doubt as he continued to dominate against the now-constantly holding Phillips.

It was no surprise when Windle’s hand w, the winner with all judges giving him a unanimous verdict.

Next up for the Hargreaves Street Gym was twice National ABA finalist James “Kimbo” Kimberley (13) at 63kg against N. Clarkson (Micky’s ABC, Selby).

Topping over six feet, Kimberley’s height and reach advantage was apparent before the opening bell as he towered over Clarkson when called in to touch gloves by the referee.

Maybe too eager to rush in, Kimberley got caught up in the first exchange, not using his advantages to his fullest. Eventually settling into his stride, he started to score with the long lead rear hand combination which penetrated the tight guard of the very durable Clarkson.

The second was a much more controlled affair, keeping centre throwing lead and rear hand combinations, doubling his jab, the Sandygate boxer started to pull away with the scoring blows.

Clarkson changed tactics and began to hold, much to Kimbo’s annoyance, but it began to pay off as Kimberley was warned by the referee for holding the top of his neck and uppercutting Clarkson on more than one occasion, resulting in the frustrated Burnley boxer getting a two-point deduction.

The final round saw Kimberley keep to the game plan, not allowing himself to get caught up in the holding, returning to scoring good clean shots, moving in and out of range, catching Clarkson with relative ease.

Another Sandygate win was announced by the MC, with a hard-earned majority decision.

In his first season in the Championships, Berkeley Estate’s North West ABA 48kg Champion Connor Shaw (12) was drawn against A. Shakill (West Leeds ABC, Leeds), and was unfortunate not to make it three wins as he was beaten in a close affair.

“All three boys did really well, Brett Windle is hitting top form and impressing all watching.

“Kimbo is the biggest 13 year-old I ever seen and will take some beating when he boxes behind that jab, and young Connor learnt a lot from the experience” said Sandygate ABC Coach Nik Tucker.

Windle now faces J. Dickinson (Birtley ABC), and Kimberley has K. Hume (Newbiggin ABC), both joining Harle Syke’s Charlie Smith (12) against D. Toward (Birtley ABC) in the National ABA Semi-Finals.

“All are guaranteed a top four England ranking, and it’s turning into quite a season.

“We also have two senior boxers weigh-in for the Senior ABAs hoping to match the Schoolboys” beamed coach Andy Howcroft.

The club also has its first home show of the season next week at Rosegrove Unity where 14 of the club’s pugilists will be pitting their skills in the sold-out boxing extravaganza.

Anyone interested in joining the club and taking up the noble art can contact the club via or their apple/android app.