BOXING: St Ives starlet Harli Whitwell warms up for big defence with best display yet in comeback fight

St Ives boxer Harli Whitwell on her way to victory against England international Ruby Hanson at a sh

St Ives boxer Harli Whitwell on her way to victory against England international Ruby Hanson at a show in London. - Credit: Archant

Hot prospect Harli Whitwell made the perfect return to action when beating an England boxer.

The 16-year-old St Ives Boxing Academy starlet earned a unanimous points success over Trowbridge opponent Ruby Hanson, who has been called into the national team for the upcoming Monkstown Boxcup in Ireland, at a show in London.

Whitwell stepped down to the lightweight division after shaking off a torn muscle in her arm, which she suffered during the Junior ABA Championships last season.

And, with the defence of her National ABC Championships crown looming large on the horizon, this was a timely confidence-booster.

Trainer and father, Steve Whitwell, said: “Hanson might be in the England squad, but she had no answer to the superior boxing and strength that Harli possessed.

“The first round was close as it took Harli a while to work out her opponent’s southpaw style, but she dominated the final two rounds.

“It looked like she might get the stoppage when landing some big shots, but she was happy enough to settle for a points win after what was probably her best performance to date.

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“It will certainly give her confidence ahead of her National ABC defence and it was an added bonus that I was able to be in her corner for the first time in two years.

“As her father, I always feel I can get that little bit more out of her.”

A change of rules means professional trainers, such as Whitwell snr, can now work with boxers during amateur fights again after controversially being banned from doing so last year.

Whitwell’s older sister, Shona, recently attended her first Great Britain podium potential camp.

The 18-year-old was involved in sparring against elite women boxers as she prepares to take the step up into the senior ranks in January following a fine career at junior and youth levels.

Her goal is to earn a place in the GB squad which is seen as the pinnacle of the amateur game.