SUNDERLAND fighter Bryan Little produced a gold standard performance to triumph at the prestigious Haringey Box Cup.
Little was one of three members of Birtley ABC’s squad to take a gold medal from the tournament in London, which sees amateur boxers from across Europe competing at the Alexandra Palace.
The 30-year-old upset the odds to triumph in both of his encounters in the light-heavyweight novice category after receiving a bye to the semi-finals.
In his first tussle against London’s Mitchell Preedy, from Hayes ABC, he applied the early pressure with a series of vicious left hooks to the body and the head.
Little kept the heat on and eventually ran out as a comfortable victor, taking the bout on a unanimous verdict with a 5-0 scoreline.
The final promised to be a far more testing affair, with Little cast in the role of the underdog against the 2012 champion, southpaw James McCormick, from Kent’s Sevenoaks ABC.
But Little came out of the traps swiftly, forcing McCormick back with a series of left hooks. The second round was a more even affair, with McCormick coming back into the bout.
But Little regained control in the third round when he forced McCormick onto the ropes and maintained that pressure in the final round with a series of heavy shots to run out as a unanimous winner, again by a 5-0 scoreline.
Little’s success came on a prosperous day for Birtley, who finished runners-up to Bury ABC in the team trophy.
Olexander Trifinov and Dean Laing claimed gold medals in the heavyweight and light-heavyweight open classes respectively, while Lauha Kanza took silver in the middleweight novice final.