Bryant tips his youngsters for the top

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Eastgate Boxing Club’s Mick Bryant is targeting a national title after watching his bright youngsters star in their first show of the year.

The event, which was held at Great Whelnetham Community Centre, saw some of the Rougham-based club’s newest members take to the ring for the first time, with opponents from Southend, Sudbury and Billericay.

Of those newcomers, it proved a tough outing for Ryan Day in the first competitive bout of the evening.

Up against Wajif Hamed, the visiting fighter proved too strong for Day with referee Paul Mckeon stopping the fight in the second of three rounds.

“It was a bit of learning curve for Ryan against a strong opponent, but very good experience,” conceded Bryant.

“Despite the defeat, I am very pleased with Ryan because it takes a lot to fight in front of a large crowd like that.”

The vociferous home crowd inside the centre were lifted when Sam Williams rose to the occasion with an impressive display against Maxim Burke from Southend.

The rangy Eastgate boxer showcased his potential, with a mature performance, using his greater reach advantage to claim a unanimous decision from the judges, much to the delight of his coach, who has tipped him to follow in the footsteps of clubmates Jake Dykstra and Tommy Taylor and challenge for national honours.

“It was great to see Sam win tonight,” he added.

“Hopefully this year we will see him going for a national title as we have done in the past with some of the other lads at the club.

“Sam has a lovely build for a boxer and is growing in confidence with every fight.

“He has a fantastic height advantage and lovely long reach and is developing well, everything is in place to challenge for a title.”

There was also a victory for Eastgate’s only senior boxer on the bill, as Jimmy Fell claimed a decision victory over Attleborough’s Richard Oulds, to cap off a successful evening for the club.

Reflecting on the show, Bryant, who was awarded with the People’s Champion accolade at the St Edmundsbury Sports Awards last month, spoke of his delight at his fighter’s performances and the continual growing interest in the sport.

“I am very pleased with all the boys and it is fantastic to see so many turn up to support them,” he said.

“Overall it was a great show and I am delighted with how it all went.

“We have a lot of new members coming through, who could feature in shows later this year and it is great to see so many young people interested in getting into boxing.

“Everything is looking good for us as a club and for the sport as a whole.”