SUNDERLAND has a new boxing champion – and also its youngest – thanks to Reece Amir’s triumph in the National Schoolboy Championships.
After months of training and weeks of competing in qualifying bouts, the 13-year-old Sunderland fighter faced Faversham’s William Ripley in the final at the Everton Sports Centre in Liverpool, with Amir emerging victorious by a majority decision.
There was a major height difference between the 66kg Class Two boxers, with 6ft 2ins Kent fighter Ripley towering over Amir.
But the Sunderland ABC boxer took the fight to his opponent from the start, getting in a left-right combination to the head in the first round which had Ripley looking to hold on and smother his opponent’s punches.
That was largely the story of all three rounds, with Amir the aggressor, using his jab well and letting off combinations while Ripley looked to counter or hold.
In the end, the Wearsider was a clear victor, winning the fight on four of the five judges’ scorecards and maintaining his boxing club’s incredible record of boasting a national schoolboy champion every year since 1991.
The next stop for the Monkwearmouth schoolboy is a trip down to the national training camp in Sheffield, as he has been selected to represent England in the Tri-Nations tournament and will get to wear the England vest early next month.
For the moment, Reece, trained by Joe Purvis and Jimmy Richardson, is just looking to savour his national title win.
He was roared on at the final by his family and friends, with Sunderland ABC making a day of it and taking a bus down to the event.
Purvis said: “We’re all really pleased for Reece and proud of him.
“He has only been coming to the club for nine months but he has training very hard, listened very well, and in that time has kept on improving.
“He got better and better with every stage of the championships, was unfazed by strong opposition and was a worthy winner of the title.”
H Sunderland ABC are now looking forward to the Junior ABA Championships, which they will host in April.
The club will have a number of boxers fighting in the event, including Isaac McLeod, who will be looking to add another title to his previous nine.