BOXING: Family investment is paying off handsomely after a couple of terrific years for New Saints ABC
- Credit: Archant
New Saints ABC is fast becoming a major Huntingdonshire sporting success story.
Club chief Kev Bullus, wife Jo and son Jordan put a five-figure sum into launching the venture little more than two years ago.
Their base at Little End Road, in Eaton Socon, has since become a hive of activity with 24 boxers currently featuring in the ranks and many more being nurtured for the future.
And, as Bullus explained, they are well on the way to beating their targets – both in terms of quality and quantity.
Bullus said: “My goal was to be in a position to put out boxers at elite level within five years, but we already have a few who could by knocking on the door by the end of this season.
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“It has surprised me how quickly we’ve got so many boxers to this sort of standard, although the big catchment area in St Neots certainly helps.
“I’m very proud of what we have achieved so far. Taking on a building of this size was a financial risk, but it is proving very worthwhile.
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“We’ve got 24 active boxers at this stage and a production line of fresh talent coming through. The hardest task at the moment is getting bouts for them all!”
The highlight in the ring so far is George Pyke (15) reaching the semi-finals of the National Junior Development Championships while Dylan Warner (14) experienced a hectic start to his career with three bouts in two weeks. He was an unfortunate loser in his debut - which he took at two days’ notice - but quickly responded with a pair of unanimous points wins.
Stan Smith (11) is another New Saints fighter catching the eye. He collected wins in his first two outings of the season against opponents from Folkestone and Attleborough.
The club also has four newly qualified assistant coaches – Ryan Bolton, Jo Bullus-Pell, Andy Stowe and Alex Belkin – to aid the development of their boxers.
Three extra junior training sessions have been added to the weekly timetable to meet demand and the gym is also now being used by the Fight for Peace charity which uses boxing and martial arts to re-educate post-16 students who my have missed out on GCSE qualifications due to involvement in crime or drugs.
New Saints ABC is staging a home show this Saturday at which a number of their own fighters will be in the ring. A limited number of tickets will be available on the door, which opens at 1pm. They are priced at £12 for adults and £5 for kids.
Bullus is also eyeing up larger venues - such as the Priory Centre in St Neots - for future shows.