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By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 14 January 2013 Updated: 14/01 12:54
IT HAS been a successful start to 2013 for young members of Droitwich Amateur Boxing Club.
Competing in the West Midlands Schools Championships in Telford on Saturday, an event for 12 to 14-year-olds, the club picked up three titles, all won in fine style.
In what was arguably the bout of the tournament, two Droitwich boxers came up against each other with 14-year-olds Mikey O'Toole and Luke Evans fighting their hearts out to win the coveted Class Three 54kg title.
Despite being friends outside the ring they both gave it their all with Evans enjoying more power but O'Toole demonstrating great mobility and skill.
In the end the decision went to O'Toole who had a particularly good second round, mixing clever defence with some cracking punches but Evans remained dangerous to the final bell and played his full part in an enthralling contest.
Another 14-year-old, Wayne Smith, was in a different class to his opponent, Joshua Rafferty (Lions, Dudley), proving a conclusive winner.
Smith dominated the contest, piling up the points with his educated jab and with occasional flurries of punches which had Rafferty in all sorts of trouble. Smith ran out the conclusive winner.
It appeared 12-year-old George Butler had a mountain to climb against his very tall opponent, Shaun Rutherford (Walsall Wood).
But climb it he did with a classic display of mobility in defence and sharpness in attack to take a well-deserved decision.
His cousin, 13-year-old Soloman Butler, also faced a tough challenge against current champion Josh Jenkins (Tamworth).
It proved to be a thrilling bout which swayed either way but Jenkins ended up taking it on a split decision.
"The boys have trained hard all over Christmas and the New Year to prepare for these championships,” commented coach Chris Andrews.
“Every one of them gave superb performances and can be very proud of themselves.
"The big disappointment was Mikey and Luke ending up in the same weight category."
As a result of their victories, Mikey, Wayne and George will now go on to compete for Midland Counties titles.
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