Jake Dykstra and Tommy Taylor edge nearer to ABA title glory

TWO amateur boxers are closing in on national glory after moving a step further towards their respective ABA titles over the weekend.

Eastgate ABC duo Jake Dykstra and Tommy Taylor secured convincing victories in the latest round of the National Schoolboy Championships, in Bristol, boxing at 52kg and 75kg respectively.

Jake, 14, saw off his opponent, Mackenzie Waker - the Western Area Champion - 15-6, to progress to a stand off against the London & Home Counties champion, West Ham’s Charlie Kenny, this weekend. The winner will go on to meet the Northern champion, in Mansfield, in three weeks.

Tommy, meanwhile, defeated Michael Watts from the King Alfred Club in Somerset, 20-12, and moves directly to the national final where he will face the Northern champion. This is because the London area did not put a contender up in 15-year-old Tommy’s category.

Eastgate ABC coach Mick Bryant was delighted with the outcome: “I am over the moon and these results are a good reflection on the whole club, where we work as a team.

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Jake, from Bury St. Edmunds was down 4-1 after the first round but managed to claw his way back into the contest after a pep talk from corner man Dale Robinson, while Tommy, from Glemsford, was solid throughout.

“I am over the moon with the two results,” said Eastgate ABC coach, Mick Bryant.

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“Jake was down at the end of the first round but Dale managed to get his confidence up and he managed to get control of the bout after that.

“Jake was unsure what to do initially and he was on the back foot against a come forward fighter but he ended the bout strongly.

“Tommy controlled the bout well putting in a good workmanlike last round to secure a 20-12 scoeline against a very game opponent. He, like Jake, has been to the final before, so they will both be used to facing higher quality opposition.”

Meanwhile, Lowestoft ABC staged an entertaining evening of boxing at Pontins Pakefield on Friday night and club members Ben Evans, Billy Ennis and Keenan Hutchins emerged victorious at 75kg and 54kg respectively.

Club coach Colin Stephenson said: “Every bout was a balanced one and there were no stoppages. We had eight boxers out and had two victories but had no complaints with any of the decisions.”

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