West Hill ace reaches national final

Ben Moore, of West Hill Boxing Club, has reached the Schoolboy Championships final.
Ben Moore, of West Hill Boxing Club, has reached the Schoolboy Championships final.

A West Hill Boxing Club young talent has reached the final of a national competition.

Ben Moore, 12, is through to the Schoolboy Championships final in the 44.5-46 kilos minors category after producing a very powerful display to win his semi-final in Harrow last weekend.

West Hill coach Dave Bishop said: “I don’t know a boy of that age and weight who can hit harder than Ben. It was a great win and he was a bit ring rusty because he hadn’t had a bout for a long time.”

Moore steamed through Charlie Brown (Hoddesdon), who was previously unbeaten and tipped to win the title.

A fairly cagey first round probably went to Brown. Moore had to up his game and landed a couple of heavy shots in the second, after which Brown became very wary of his power and appeared reluctant to go near him.

Moore kept stalking Brown all the way through the second round and caught him with more combinations.

Brown kept trying to stay away from Moore in the third round. Moore played it cagily and just landed enough hard punches to keep Brown at bay, clearly winning the round and getting the judges’ decision at the end of it.

Moore is West Hill’s first Schoolboy Championships finalist since Frankie Smith around a decade ago and will be gunning for the title in Grantham, Lincolnshire, this coming Saturday.

“He’s worked hard in the gym, he knows he’s powerful now, his confidence is sky high and it’s got to be a good boy to beat him in the finals now,” added Bishop.

Another West Hill talent, Jesse Smith, produced a brilliant effort in narrowly losing his semi-final against last year’s champion Alfie Hedges (Pinewood).

Southern counties champion Smith, who recently turned 14 and weighs 37 kilos, was edged out by three votes to two from the judges against London and home counties champion Hedges.

Hedges is a very good boxer who has lost only two of his 22 contests, but such was the level of Smith’s performance that the bout was nip and tuck all the way through, and the decision could have gone either way.

Bishop said: “I don’t think Hedges has had it so hard in his life because Jesse’s improved so much. His boxing skills are really good and his confidence is up. He knew what he could do and didn’t find it hard at all. He did us proud.”

Charlie Coglan (16 years, 66 kilos) is due to box for West Hill in Canterbury this Friday and Eastbourne the following day. Ben White is also matched at the latter show.

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