Young boxers battle it out for national champs titles
Published on: 12 Jan 2016
Two young boxers from SGS College faced some of the country’s toughest competition at the National Boys and Girls Club Championships at the end of 2015 – with one coming away as champion.
Jacob Croot and Natalie Craig travelled to Croydon at the start of December to vie for titles, with Natalie returning to Bristol as Class C U64kg Female national champion, while Jacob narrowly missed out on victory in his match.
Jacob met Hoddeston’s multiple national champion, the hard-punching Charlie Kenny. Jacob opened with some superb boxing, scoring well as Charlie came forward. But Charlie caught Jacob with strong shots, prompting a protection count from the referee.
What followed was a toe-to-toe slug-out with both boxers finding success before, in the final round, Jacob was caught with a thunderous left hook, which prompted the referee to stop the contest. Jacob said: “I am so disappointed, but have beaten a lot of good boxers on the way and the experience gained in this one will serve me well as I progress to senior boxing.”
Natalie faced tough Hartlepool boxer Coran Grayson. She opened her account with fast straight shots, with fierce competitor Coran coming forward aggressively. The pattern continued throughout the contest with Natalie’s straight punching forcing two standing counts from the referee.
Natalie was declared the National BGC champion with a unanimous decision and she said: “After a long drive and a tough fight, I won unanimously! Coran was so tough and I have so much respect for her. I’ve been waiting for the day I could say this... I’m finally a national champion.”
In the corner with Advanced Apprenticeships in Sporting Excellence (AASE) boxing coach Craig Turner was 18-year-old AASE boxer Adam Arkell. Adam passed his level 1 coaching award last year at SGS, and while still competing has begun his coaching career.
Adam said: “I was really pleased when Craig asked me to assist him in the corner. A national final was a great place to start and it’s great to have another string to my bow when my competition days are over.”
Craig added: “I am thrilled to have worked with these superb athletes, a female national champion for SGS and another massive achievement from Jacob.”
Jacob Croot, Adam Arkell and Natalie Craig