Attleborough Boxing Club’s Santiago Weaver has been crowned a national champion after a golden display in the Junior Development Championships.
The 16-year-old Thetford Academy Sixth Form student overcame the odds in Rotherham to defeat Connor Taylor, from the prestigious Jimmy Egans Gym in Manchester, with a split decision in the under-75kg final.
Despite the daunting task of facing a much taller opponent, Weaver forced a standing count in the first round with a strong right hand before out-powering his opponent in the remaining two rounds to return home with gold and leave his club’s head coach, Jon Dennis, delighted with his fighter.
“A national title is a great achievement for Santiago and the club,” he said.
“It was a real David and Goliath story in all honesty as we were just a little village club up against one of Manchester’s finest clubs.
“Everything on paper was against him but Santiago boxed smartly and stuck to the tactics we gave him perfectly.
“Santiago has worked extremely hard, putting in many hours in the gym and has massive potential.”
That potential could now be highlighted further as the youngster sets sights on clinching a second national title at the National Association of Boxing Championships later this year.
“The development title is just a stepping stone for Santiago,” added Dennis.
“He will be up against more experienced boxers but he is definitely more than capable of stepping up.
“Santiago is very level headed and he is always keen to learn. That is the most important thing in his development.”
The latest triumph continues Attleborough’s successful start to the new season which has also seen Connor Holloway and Michael Jordan both crowned Eastern Counties champions after wins in Eastbourne earlier this month.
Twenty-year-old Holloway and 22-year-old Jordan have now moved onto national competitions in their bids to be crowned under-57kg and under-81kg National Senior Novice champions and have sealed their places in the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively. Another of the club’s fighters, Roni Dean, will also be competing in the quarter-finals.
“The success we are achieving is great for the club; it is a really exciting time,” added Dennis.
“The boxers are going from strength to strength, they are well placed and well prepared ready for the later stages of the competition.
“When we started six years ago our main aim was to become part of the community but we also had aspirations to be competitive and we are doing just that.
“There is a lot of talent at the this club and it great to see them succeed.”