Leon Harris’s gold tops Wearmouth Boxing Club’s impressive national medal haul

Wearmouth Boxing Club's new national champion, Leon Harris. Picture by Kevin Brady
Wearmouth Boxing Club's new national champion, Leon Harris. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Leon Harris was in brilliant form to become national champion.

The Wearmouth Boxing Club 15-year-old triumphed in the England boxing championship finals in Rotherham, in the 57kg cadet category.

Wearmouth Boxing Club's medallists (from left): Billy Hope, Beau Smith, Leon Harris and Brad Crone. Picture by Kevin Brady

Wearmouth Boxing Club's medallists (from left): Billy Hope, Beau Smith, Leon Harris and Brad Crone. Picture by Kevin Brady

In his semi-final, Harris defeated Harry Hillier, from Southampton, on a unanimous decision to book his place in the final.

And in the final, 24 hours later, he produced an outstanding display to defeat a quality opponent in Frank Watson from the Nemesis club in Kent.

Harris outmanoeuvred Watson for all three rounds, accumulating points all the way to secure another well-earned victory and the glory of his first national title.

Beau Smith’s impressive championship run came to an end in a keenly-contested 60kg final against current European gold medallist Jimmy Lee, from Guildford.

Despite being the underdog, Smith showed his true potential and plenty of heart in a very competitive bout before Lee’s experience shone through to take a points decision.

Fourteen-year-old Smith was bitterly disappointed in having to make do with a silver medal, but his time will surely come if he keeps improving.

Brad Crone (15) had to settle for a bronze medal after losing on a split decision against former European medallist and national champion Charlie Hickford in the junior 48kg semi-final.

Crone and Hickford both gave absolutely everything during the three rounds and, not surprisingly, the judges found it difficult to split them after a tremendous contest.

Billy Hope also exited at the semi-final stage after an extremely close but scrappy 42kg semi-final against eventual winner Jack McLoughlin.

Despite not being at his best, Hope was still able to land some nice counters, but the judges preferred the work of McLoughlin, leaving Hope with the bronze medal.

Coach Anthony Kelly said: “All of the club coaches have been really impressed with the commitment level shown from all of them lads who entered the championships and throughout this season.

“The success they are having is down to the hard work they’re putting in.

“The full boxing squad is developing well and it will be interesting to see what they can achieve in the future.

“Special mention would be for Leon. To achieve a national title after just 14 contests is credit to him and the work he puts in.”