Eastgate boxing duo in ABA action

TWO talented Eastgate Amateur Boxing Club youngsters are targeting semi-final berths in the National ABA Schools’ Championships this weekend.

Jake Dykstra, 14, from County Upper School and team-mate Tommy Taylor, 15, from Sudbury Upper School, are boxing for the Rougham-based club in the 52kg and 75kg classes respectively, in Bristol.

Dykstra, who will face Mackenzie Waker from Poole ABC, reached the final in 2009 and defeated Mid-Anglia champion Bradley Smith and Southern Area title-holder, Mereke Blunt, to reach this stage.

Taylor meanwhile, who takes on Matthew Watts, from the King Alfred Club, reached the final last year only to lose on a narrow points decision.

Club coach Mick Bryant is optimistic about the pair’s chances and believes both have bright futures in the game.

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“I think they have got a good chance and they are well prepared.

“We have worked hard with them both at the club and had some information on their opponents so that should help them,” said Bryant.

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“Jake, in particular, has done very well in his last couple of bouts and is having a good year, while Tommy, who is at the top of his weight class at 75kg, has been pretty steady.”

The duo are will be moving into the junior championships next year and, unlike some boxers that Bryant has seen over the years, the trainer believes both Dykstra and Taylor have the ability and credentials to make the step up.

“They are both maturing really well,” he said.

“Sometimes you get school boys who are really strong but sometimes lack a bit of boxing ability when they move up to the junior ranks, but these two seem to have something about them.”

Should the pair get through, they will progress to the London Championships, with the stage after that being the national ABA Championships Finals, held later this year.

Meanwhile, Eastgate youngster Dewy Taylor will be amongst the action at Lowestoft ABC’s show at Pontins Pakefield Holiday Resort, tonight.

The 20-year-old faces Frank Sictorriess in a pre-Eastern Counties Senior ABA final, while light-heavyweight Jack Gibbs and Dan Markham will also be in ring action at the show.

“Dewy went into ABA championships last year for the experience but went out at the Eastern Counties stage and he stands a good chance of going through this time around,” said Bryant.

“Jack Gibbs has been boxing in the novices’ section this year, while Dan Markham has been in the gym with us for a while and this is his first amateur bout.

“We have just told him that the Friday night show will just be an extra-hard sparring session.

“He will be nervous but so will the other guy.”

The Eastgate Club is holding a show at Debenham Leisure Centre on March 23rd.

Standing tickets for the event will be available at the door, on the night.

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