Kang Han fighter brings home gold

BOXING CLEVER -- 15-year-old Hucknall-based fighter Bryer Wheatley proudly shows off the gold medal he won at the Redditch Schools Box Cup
BOXING CLEVER -- 15-year-old Hucknall-based fighter Bryer Wheatley proudly shows off the gold medal he won at the Redditch Schools Box Cup

One gold, one silver and three bronze -- that was the proud haul of medals brought back to Hucknall from a prestigious, Olympic Games-style boxing tournament.

The first-ever Redditch Schools Box Cup saw more than 200 boxers from all over the country showcase their skills.

And highlights of the finals were shown on Sky Sports Tv’s boxing programme, ‘Ringside’.

Pride of place in Hucknall went to 15-year-old Byrer Wheatley, a member of the Kang Han club based on Beardall Street.

Wheatley, who lives in Top Valley, struck gold in the 48kg category of his age group.

While the silver and bronze medals were won by young boxers from the St George club, also based in Hucknall.

The tournament was organised by Redditch Amateur Boxing Club in Worcestershire to raise money for children’s charity, Childline.

Held over two weekends, it pitted male and female boxers, aged 12, 13 and 14, against opponents of the same age, weight and level of experience. Class A was for boxers with up to four bouts, Class B for those with five to 14 bouts and Class C for those with more than 15 fights.

Wheatley went into the competition with a record of six wins from seven bouts.

He was fortunate enough to land a bye into the final. But then he showed his talent and potential by defeating Ismael Quamar, of Staffordshire AC in Stoke-on-Trent.

Wheatley won each of the three two-minute rounds handsomely to gain a unanimous verdict from the judges.

He is one of eight registered boxers at the Kang Han club, where up to 30 of all ages turn up each week at their main sessions on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The club also host sessions for women on Wednesdays and for very young children on Saturday mornings.

Wheatley has a strong family connection to the club because his dad, Alan, is a matchmaker, organising bouts, while his older brother, Rease, is a coach.

Bryer’s next engagement could be the national championship, scheduled for October.

Kang Han will also be represented at the championships by 22-year-old Alexandra Simon, who also lives in Top Valley. She is a qualified boxing tutor with the club.

The four St George fighters at Redditch were Saab Alvi (14), Christagie Charalambous (13) and 12-year-olds Brendan McCormack and Georgios Charalambous.

McCormack did himself proud in only his sixth contest, despite losing to Hazzan Akim, of the Dale Youth club in London, a more experienced opponent who had won 12 of his 13 fights.

Boxing a southpaw for the first time, Christagie was unlucky not to get the nod against Ben Edwards, of Hall Green ABC in Birmingham, unleashing some powerful shots to head and body that forced his opponent on the back foot.

Georgios lost a hard-fought contest against Eithen James, of the Far Cotton club in Northampton, but can take great credit from his performance because James went on to beat the current British schoolboy champion in the final.