BOXING: Super Shona Whitwell joins the Elite thanks to stunning title success

Shona Whitwell shows off her National Elite Championships crown.

Shona Whitwell shows off her National Elite Championships crown. - Credit: Archant

St Ives star Shona Whitwell has captured the biggest title of her successful career – with arguably the best performance.

Whitwell captured the 60kg crown at the Elite National Championships only months after stepping up to senior level.

The 19 year-old came through three fights to lift the title in Rotherham last weekend to claim the sixth national title of her career and leave her father, and St Ives Boxing Academy coach, Steve Whitwell oozing pride.

He said: “This is a massive achievement – not just for Shona but also for the club and the entire region.

“It’s many years since we had a national champion at senior level in this part of the world and the way in which she did it – by beating the two top seeds – was incredible.

“Even more astonishing is that Shona has done it while training around a full-time job and a college course.

“Shona has firmly put herself on the Great Britain map and I fully expect their national coaches to want to develop her into a world-class senior.

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“I’ve been involved in boxing for 30 years and I’ve never been more proud of a performance from one of my fighters.”

Whitwell got her title challenge off to a fine start with an impressive display against Katie Flynn, of the Liverpool-based No Limits ABC, in the quarter-finals.

She dominated the duel from the centre of the ring and used her long-range counter-punching to excellent effect against a short and stocky opponent to earn an unanimous decision from the judges.

Whitwell’s reward was a semi-final showdown against GB number one and top seed, Sandy Ryan, who had received a bye in the opening round.

Ryan is regarded as a big hope for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but she couldn’t live with the superior footwork and sharp punching of Whitwell.

Ryan did step up the pressure in the final round, but Whitwell refused to be bullied as she closed out a major upset thanks to a split decision.

And Whitwell still had another big performance in her locker to see off second seed Louise Orton, a Kent-based opponent who had been runner-up in 2016, in the final.

Orton’s aggressive style created a scrappy bout, but it was Whitwell who always landed the most eye-catching and telling shots to earn a unanimous verdict.

Whitwell snr added: “Shona’s win against Ryan sent shockwaves round the arena, but it didn’t come as a surprise to the people who have followed her progress as a youth.

“It was very important she followed that great victory up with another good performance in the final and getting a unanimous decision in such a tough bout capped a great few days.”

Whitwell’s next outing is in the Three Nations Championships, in Cardiff, from May 11-13 when she will represent England.