RYAN Adair, Cambs Police Club’s 14-year-old boxer, is an English Schoolboy Champion.
He beat Mark Jeffers at the national finals in Liverpool at the weekend.
The Huntingdon boy, a pupil at Hinchingbrooke School, is the first member of Campol to win a national title, and his coach Mick Taylor said: “He is a born competitor who enjoys winning.”
Having missed out in the semi-finals last year, Adair beat the reigning champion on a majority decision with a fine display of measured boxing which his 15-year-old opponent could not match.
“Mark Jeffers had 15 bouts with no losses,” said Taylor, at the club’s Monday meeting at the Medway Centre.
“He is tall and has a long reach and we knew the only way Ryan would be able to deal with him would be to put him under pressure and stay pretty close.
“I can honestly say that through the three rounds, Ryan took four punches that he should never have taken, and severely punished the lad and you could see him wilting as he was hit with Ryan’s body shots.
“I didn’t doubt for one moment he lost – the correctly-thrown punches were coming from the underdog, our Ryan. It was a 100 per cent worthy win and I only nit-pick because I want to make him an even better fighter.”
Adair had support at the championship from a busload of classmates but a slight chest infection had hampered his pre-fight preparations.
However, he outboxed Jeffers and the win has secured him a place in the England Schoolboy team.
It is a massive step up for the lad who first wandered into the gym as a four-year-old.
“He would come down with his granddad, Gordon Grant, who still coaches him, and although he was a little bit of a horror at times, he was a lovely lad,” said Taylor.
“At about the age of 10, something clicked and he became more proficient at his skipping and shadow boxing and everything that related to the boxing.
“Suddenly, we realised he wanted to be something special. He has become that special young man that we identified at 10 or 11.”
Adair himself is a little less prepared to talk himself up. “I’ve been at the same weight for two years now and I was in the same category last year and lost against Matthew Stevens in the semi-finals – so it was great to get the win.
“My headteacher even announced it at school.”