Rooney’s counterpunching is a big hit in Liverpool

ST Ives’ Martin Rooney, 14, had the best win of his boxing ‘career’ this week against Scott Rankin from the Everton Red Triangle ABC.

Rankin was unbeaten in 22 bouts and three-times National and Three-Nations Schoolboy Champion.

Rooney was expecting to face Rankin in the Schoolboy final last season but a decision went against him in the semi – so his chance finally came in Liverpool. And changing his usual aggressive all-out style to a more calculated counterpunching-style gave Rooney the upper hand and Rankin his first taste of defeat.

Rooney picked his shots very well and made Rankin miss continually and then stepped up the pressure on the counter attack. Rankin bled heavily from the nose from the first round and never found an answer to Rooney’s boxing style and by the third was even failing to throw shots.

“This was an absolute master class from Martin,” said his coach Steve Whitwell. “He stuck to the gameplan and caused an upset which has had everyone in amateur boxing talking about him.”

Rooney has beaten several top 10 boys in the past year but Rankin was his top scalp and sets him up nicely for the upcoming Junior ABA Championships.

Tersoo Sugden was also boxing this week in a show in Ely – and got a unanimous decision against David Abrahams from Finchley ABC.

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This turned out to be a scrappy affair between two of the biggest boxers around who weighed 240 kilos between them.

Although Sugden dominated the bout with his jab and cleaner punches he allowed himself to get into a brawl at times and in the last round the ring actually gave way when they both fell into the ropes causing the referee to call an early end to the final round.

Whitwell said: “With the Novice Championships coming up in the next couple of weeks he needs to concentrate on cleaner boxing if he is progress through the tournament.”

Sugden has a bye through to the Eastern County finals, but three St Ives boxers will be featuring in Billericay, Essex, on Friday.

Dan Meston is in the 91k final, Sam Barron is in the 75k final and Rob Scaff is in the 57k final. “All three boxers have a great chance of winning through to the next stage and this could be our most successful championships yet,” said the coach.