St Ives Boxing Academy starlet Shona Whitwell is bidding to claim national glory for a fifth time – and her father reckons she is the fighter to beat.
Whitwell is due to travel up to the Ferryhill Community Hub in County Durham tomorrow (Thursday) ahead of three days of action in the England Youth Championships from Friday to Sunday.
She steps up to youth level and four-round fights for the first time having turned 17 and will compete in the 60kg weight class.
Dad Steve, also her coach, said: “Shona had a quieter year last year due to her GCSE commitments, but now she is on a mission to regain her place as England number one and hopefully return to the national team.
“Shona will have to box three times in as many days to win the title and it is also important to impress the England selectors.
“If she performs as well as she did in her last bout when beating the Welsh number one, Tennessee Randall, I am confident she will pick up another championship.
“Put it this way, it will take a great performance from one of the other girls in the group to halt her run. She is definitely the one to beat.
“Over the next two years it is important for Shona to really stamp her authority on the 60kg weight class if she is to gain the international experience that will be needed to qualify for big tournaments and achieve her ultimate goal of competing in the Olympics.”
Southpaw Whitwell goes into battle with a proud record of 16 wins from 19 outings
There will be plenty of familiar faces standing between Whitwell and glory in the North-East.
Among them is Bria Fielding of Blackburn, who she beat in the final when winning the last of her four titles in December 2013.