Slideshow: Teenage boxer makes history
Teenage fighter Bradley Evans has made history for Stevenage ABC.The 19 year old sensationally won the senior ABA featherweight title at a packed York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday night.He beat pre-fight favourite Lee Gillespie from Salford 16-3 on points to
Teenage fighter Bradley Evans has made history for Stevenage ABC.
The 19 year old sensationally won the senior ABA featherweight title at a packed York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday night.
He beat pre-fight favourite Lee Gillespie from Salford 16-3 on points to become the first boxer in the club’s 55-year history to achieve this feat.
Hitchin’s Andy Straughn was the last North Herts boxer to win an ABA crown 27 years ago in 1981.
Speaking to The Comet this week, Bradley said: “It’s only just sunk in to be honest. It was a great feeling and one that I won’t forget.
“I’m over the moon and to become the senior ABA featherweight champion at my first attempt is fantastic.
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“It was a tough final, but I think my fitness got the better of him and I gradually wore him down.
“Everything fell into place really, and by the final round I was in control. In the end he just couldn’t cope.
“I had a lot of support, obviously I couldn’t hear them throughout the bout because I was too focused but at the end I could hear them all shouting and celebrating. That was a nice moment.
“It’s been very hard work getting to this point, and now I want to progress further.
“This was definitely my best performance yet, and the highlight of my career. To box on such a big stage was brilliant and I want to do it again.
“I’m not sure what I will be doing next, I’m looking to do well with the England squad and there’s a few things coming up over the next month. I’ll just be taking one step at a time.”
Evans was roared to the ring by a large band of supporters.
He was up against the taller figure of Gillespie who was made the pre-fight favourite by the Boxing News experts.
Evans tore into Gillespie from the opening bell although the first round was level at 1-1. The second round saw Evans repeatedly rock back the head of Gillespie with some big left hooks.
And it was also clear to see that the Salford fighter was going to struggle with the fitness and sheer aggression of Evans who opened up a 6-1 lead.
With the scent of victory in Evans’ nostrils, the relentless Stevenage boxer continued to dominate the last two rounds to win the contest comfortably.
He wrote his name in the history books in what is the oldest running amateur tournament in the world, dating back to 1872.
An extra honour was being voted as the best boxer on the show by the ringside judges.
Stevenage ABC chairman Charlie Theobold added: “It’s the pinnacle of amateur boxing in this country and Bradley’s the top boy nationally.
“It’s a tremendous achievement for a 19-year-old lad.
“Very few have gone from winning the junior ABAs to winning the senior ABAs the following year, so well done to Bradley.
“It’s reward for everyone at the club and the coachload we took to cheer him on.
“Bradley is so modest but when he steps through the ropes, he changes. He has proved his dedication and fitness.
“The boy is a great prospect and a credit to the club and himself.
“The next Olympics after this summer are in London in 2012 and he will be at the height of his powers by then.”