Five Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club starlets flew over to Copenhagen, Denmark for the Hvidovre International Box Cup 2016.
North West Schoolboy Champion Joe Crawford, 13, graced the squared circle in his 48kg semi-final first against English opposition in S. Wharton (15, Henry’s ABC) giving away a little weight and age, as in European competitions a two-year age gap is permitted.
Ightenhill’s Crawford took the contest with both hands, controlling throughout, moving well and out-working Wharton in all three rounds, earning the exciting Year 8 St Christopher’s pupil a unanimous win and a guaranteed medal, joining his four team mates in the finals day.
North West Junior champion Ryan Haythornthwaite (15) was matched with Liverpudlian B.Dunne (16, Towerhill ABC) in the 52kg final, hoping to get the East Lancashire club on the medal table, and he didn’t disappoint, as he put on an aggressive and controlled display, winning all rounds comfortably, cutting the ring down and switching attacks with ease, winning gold with a unanimous decision.
North West Youth champion Brett Windle, 17, boxed L.Penington (17, Towerhill ABC) in the 57kg final, and started well, winning the first, but was pegged back in the second by the durable Merseyside boxer. It was all on the last round, with Penington narrowly scraping the win on a split verdict.
Reagan Driver (17) also collected a silver medal at 69kg after a gallant display against Swedish opposition Y. Hussein (18, GAK Enighet) in a nail-biting affair.
Sandygate’s hottest senior prospect, CYP North West champion Reece Farnhill (18) faced Gothenburg’s B. Teklay (GBG Team Box) in a contest which didn’t last the distance.
Straight from the bell, Sabden’s Farnhill took centre, keeping his Swedish foe on the back foot, catching him with his lead then connecting with a sublime left hook, which seemed to rock the taller Teklay. The Hargreaves Street boxer caught Teklay square on, forcing the referee to administer a standing eight count, holding out till the bell.
Farnhill showed great composure, taking his time at the start of the second to land, and a minute in, he threw a perfect combination of lead hand, rear hand, left hook which took Teklay down to the canvas for the start of a count.
Rising at eight, the man in the middle halted the contest as Teklay was in no state to continue, walking uneasy to his corner.
All the European coaches present expressed the quality of what they had just witnessed, not only earning Sandygate boxer the club’s second gold but also the boxer of the day from the Danish hosts.
Joe Crawford’s final was the following morning against Danish champion M.Brantley (14, AIK Roskilde) in a close affair, with the Danish International winning on a split verdict. With Crawford holding his own in such company, it was great achievement.