EASTGATE Amateur Boxing Club coach Mick Bryant has backed talented youngster Tommy Taylor to clinch the 75kg National ABA Schools’ Championship title on Sunday at Mansfield’s Civic Centre.
The Sudbury Upper School pupil was given a bye through to the final after his scheduled semi-final encounter against Callum Donugal from Orpington last weekend was cancelled, due to his opponent’s withdrawl.
That has set up an identical bout of last year’s final against Dan Saunderson of Knowle Vale boxing club in Liverpool, and despite suffering defeat to Sunday’s opponent at this stage last time out, Bryant is confident Taylor can exact his revenge in the re-match.
“Tommy is feeling very confident ahead of Sunday’s fight and he was actually disappointed not to fight in the semi final,” he said.
“It would have been good to maintain his fight sharpness but now we have to focus on the final.
“He actually boxed the lad he is facing on Sunday last year in the final and lost so he is now certainly up for the re-match.
“Last year Tommy was over awed about being in the final but now he has that experience, knows what to expect and has had a solid year of training behind him.
“He is quietly confident and is looking forward to having a chance of getting some revenge.”
A victory on Sunday would also automatically qualify the 15-year-old to represent his country, in his age group at the Tri-Nations competition later this year and Bryant believes victory would be the best way to make the step up to the Junior division.
“If he wins his final he will be given the chance to represent his country in his age group at the tri-nations later in the year, which would be a fantastic opportunity for him,” he added
“It would be brilliant for Tommy to move up to the Junior championships next year with a title under his belt and it would be a great way to be ready for that step up.”
<n>Meanwhile last weekend’s semi-finals threw up a less than successful outcome for another one of Eastgate’s young hopefuls aiming to clinch a final berth, as Jake Dykstra suffered defeat to West Ham’s Charlie Kenny in the 52kg weight division.
The County Upper School pupil’s bout was stopped in the first round with the score at 7-3 in favour of Kenny, after the referee adjudged the 14-year-old was un-able to defend himself.
However, Bryant who was far from happy with the decision, is confident Dykstra will bounce back from his defeat.
“The referee said he wasn’t able to defend himself properly, which I think was a poor decision, but that is boxing and we have to move on,” he added.
“Jake is upset but now we just need to get him back in the gym and back on track.”