Semi-pro British titles for Team Block boxers

PROUD AS PUNCH --   coach Shane McPhilbin (centre) with two of his victorious Team Block fighters at Stoke, Karsten Lenjoint (left) and Jay Parkin.
PROUD AS PUNCH -- coach Shane McPhilbin (centre) with two of his victorious Team Block fighters at Stoke, Karsten Lenjoint (left) and Jay Parkin.

It was three c heers -- literally -- for the Hucknall-based Team Block boxing academy on a prestigious bill at Stoke-on-Trent.

For they pulled off a hat-trick of superb victories to enhance the growing reputation of the academy, which is run by popular ex-British cruiserweight champion, Shane McPhilbin.

Jay Parkin, of Hucknall, won a supreme fighter British title in only his fifth semi-professional contest.

Heavyweight Martyn ‘The Wolf’ Waplington, of Bulwell, also got his hands on a long-awaited British supreme title.

And to cap a night to remember, the irrepressible Karsten ‘The Archer’ Lenjoint continued his amazing unbeaten run.

Team Block box on the semi-professional Organised International Boxing Association (OIBA) circuit, which gives much-needed experience to up-and-coming fighters.

In 2013, they won every one of their 40-odd bouts, and 2014 looks like going the same way.

Parkin faced a stiff challenge against local favourite Kris Hanks. From the first bell, both boxers went for it, trading some big shots.

In the opening round, Parkin dropped Hanks with a perfect right hand over the top, but then he dropped his hands and was caught himself.

The second round continued in the same vein, with Parkin landing a peach of a right hook to wobble the increasingly unsteady Hanks. And it wasn’t long before the referee called a halt, leaving the Hucknall fighter champion.

Two weeks earlier, he had also knocked out the highly-rated Jack Johnson in Leeds, and is looking for one more fight before the end of a brilliant year.

Meanwhile Waplington bagged his belt with a stunning second-round knockout against Lloyd Perry.

It was another gung-ho bout, until the Bulwell boxer unleashed a tremendous combination of punches to floor Perry twice in quick succession. An emotional Waplington dedicated his success to his late mum.

Lenjoint also celebrated a second-round knockout to continue his remarkable transformation from mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter to semi-professional boxer.

Showing composure and strength, he showed it’s going to take a lot to stop him.

Although he took some good shots himself, welterweight Lenjoint landed the perfect body-shot, which meant his opponent was unable to get back to his feet after the mandatory ten-second count.

The bearded buccaneer is now four from four since diverting all his attentions to boxing.