Good times ahead as St Ives club gets stronger

STEVE Whitwell wants to turn St Ives Boxing Academy into the one of the country's top gyms over the next few years.

The head coach was speaking after watching one of his charges - Martin Rooney - finish the season on a high at the weekend, beating Tom Gilbraith (Dagenham ABC) on the Hoddesdon ABC show in Enfield.

"The future is looking very bright for St Ives Boxing Academy," beamed Whitwell.

"What we have achieved in six years is incredible and is testament to all the hard work the boxers, coaches and volunteers have put in.

"We are currently one of the most successful clubs in the county and, over the next six years, I aim to make us one of the best clubs in the country. We have had, by far, our most successful season so far and look forward to improving on this next season, when we will be a pro-am gym and hopefully get as much success in the pro ranks too.

"Majid Romani and Bradley Chapman should be making the switch to the paid ranks over the summer, with Tom Martin and other boxers ready to follow suit in a couple of seasons."

Rooney is a product of that hard work and he sealed his seventh win from nine fights this season against Gilbraith.

The St Ives boxer was giving away height and weight, but used his superior boxing skills to good effect, blocking Gilbraith's jab and countering with one of his own before unleashing several hurtful shots of his own on the inside.

That was the pattern of the fight, with Rooney far too strong on the inside and Gilbraith failing to use his long range boxing to keep him off.

In the second round, Gilbraith was deducted a point for persistent holding as Rooney attacked him with hooks and uppercuts, before another strong round from Rooney in the third sealed the win

Whitwell's gym will stay open over the summer and anyone wishing to train should contact him on 07918 104819.