North Star boxers star in Essex tournament
New boxing club North Star are celebrating a sensational debut.
The Sunderland team, based in Southwick, only began operating in June.
But they sent five boxers to the England Boxing Main Event Mini Box Cup 2016 in Essex, where two struck gold.
Danny Hopper and Jimmy Stevens both secured victories in Wickford with Jay Liddle, Frankie Adams and Dyllan Robson also taking part in the big tournament.
With more than 50 clubs involved in the event, success was a big as for the Wearsiders.
However, the boxers from the Kings Road outfit really came up trumps.
Hopper was taking part in his first competitive bout, having previously only taken part in skills contests.
Those matches are boxed over three one-minute rounds with no decision made at the end of it.
And the 11-year-old took to the real thing like a duck to water when he entered the lightest division, the U28 kilo minors division.
He was up against Albert Winder, another boxer new to the competitive game, in a straight final.
Winder, from the famous Repton club in London, was no match for the North Star ace, who boxed superbly for a unanimous points victory.
Further up the age and weight scale, Stevens had Northern opposition for his U62 kilo final, with Adam Jones from Sharp Style ABC.
The 13-year-old had his hands full against the Blackpool rival, but he came through a tough test with a points success.
Unfortunately for North Star, they could not add to their gold tally. Liddle, 11, U32 kilo, Adams, 11, U34 kilo and Robson, 13, U36 kilo, all performed with credit in the two-day tournament in Essex.
North Star ABC coach, Danny Hopper Snr, told the Echo the club was thrilled with its first excursion into the competitive scene.
“We only opened our doors in June,” he said. “We entered the Box Cup and to come back with two winners was a great achievement.
“Danny was up against a Repton kid and to go down there and win on his territory was brilliant.
“Jimmy had a hard bout, but he came through it with an excellent performance.”