Progress Boxing Club's Tony Herbert suffers split decision defeat in England Boxing National Junior Championships
Gareth Edwards is sure Toby Herbert’s time will soon come again after the 14-year-old was left gutted by a split decision defeat in his England Boxing National Junior Championships semi-final to the eventual winner.
The Eye-based Progress Boxing Club member was one of four fighters flying the flag for Norfolk at the prestigious event at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham at the weekend.
The other three, Jack Bacon, Chanell Kendall and Lydia Nagle, who all contested finals, came from Attleborough Boxing Club.
But all four were left to wonder what could have been after also tasting defeat across the weekend.
Progress’ head coach felt fledgling talent Herbert, who has only been in the ring for little more than a year, had more cause to be upset than most, though.
“I thought he had won it and a lot of people said that,” said Edwards of the Male Under 80kg Junior Cadet’s defeat to eventual winner Iyaleh Constant of Cricklewood.
“He lost the first round but he is a very slow starter as he is quite cautious and likes to pick his punches. I would certainly not say he lost the second round; I thought he just nicked it.
“I thought he had a dominant third round and I am a judge and if it is a close call and anyone finishes strongly, to me that makes my decision for me. You cannot argue but it was disappointing.
“The guy he lost to won the final, so it is a bit of a consolation but it makes you feel that if he only lost on a split to him and he won it, what could he have done?”
He added of the six foot three inch talent: “He has only been boxing just over a year and he is a dedicated lad who listens, and he will have plenty more opportunities.”
Attleborough’s contingent got off to a great start with Bacon winning his Junior Cadet Male Under-40kg semi-final against Wiseman’s Dan Salmon on a split decision. But there was to be no national title as he found Leigh’s Zac Adams too good in Sunday’s final, losing by a unanimous decision.
Kendall also made it to the finals day after defeating Priory Park’s Kelsey Oakly on a split deicision in her Junior Female Under-48kg contest. But she was well beaten by Brandon’s Megan Bainbridge on Sunday.
Nagle started well in the final in her Junior Female Under-52kg category and came close to glory against Crowle’s Jayne Bardauska, losing on a split decision.
Meanwhile, the Friday night saw both clubs involved in Eastgate Boxing Club and Stowmarket and District Lions Club’s packed out show at Debenham Sports & Leisure Centre.
Edwards was delighted to see three of his young fighters win in succession in Jimmy Ellwood, Jake Boyce-Moore and Harvey Garnham, before twin brother Archie Boyce-Moore just fell the wrong side of the judge’s verdict in his first competitive bout (31kg).
“I think he might have just nicked it but both boys gave 100 per cent, it was a very close bout and a very good experience for both boxers.”
Attleborough’s 11-year-old Thomas Willets got to open the show, attended by more than 400 people, with a skills bout. Progress’ Jake Boyce-Moore is back in action in Chatteris tomorrow.