Two of the rising stars at Ilkeston’s Trinity Boxing Club are celebrating after winning their titles in style at the regional finals of the East Midlands Development Championships at Swadlincote.
Alex Testro was dominant in his junior 75kg final against Aldercar and Langley Mill fighter Tyler Willison and maintained his unbeaten record with a unanimous points decision.
While Sam Bates gave another outstanding display of counter-punching against aggressive Leicester boxer Richard Twist to move into the national quarter-finals where he will face an opponent from Stoke-on-Trent.
The 16-year-old Testro controlled his first-ever championship fight on the front foot, keeping his local rival under constant pressure with heavy punches, thrown in lightning-fast combinations.
Willison played his part in a quality bout and showed tremendous courage to make it to the final bell. But the young Trinity star prevailed and now tackles an opponent from Coventry in the national quarter-finals.
The 23-year-old Bates took his first title at the third attempt in the senior light-heavyweight final. Opponent Twist advanced throughout, but found it hard to lay a glove on the Trinity man, who used the ring well to move out of danger. Bates’s solid left jab racked up the points and he took a unanimous points decision after also connecting well with his big left hook, most notably in the second round when the Leicester fighter’s legs buckled.
CAPTAIN Kyle Hughes won the Bill Morley Cup for outstanding boxer of the season at the club’s annual awards night. A popular and deserved winner, middleweight Hughes received the award from Trinity co-founder Danny Rafferty.
A TRINITY promotion in memory of club founder John Rafferty, who died in April at the age of 85, takes place at the Festival Inn, Trowell tomorrow night (Friday), from 8.15 pm). It is hoped that Ilkeston boxing fans will turn out in force to pay tribute.