National glory has been bestowed on one talented young Wakefield boxer thanks to his success at the ABA National Schoolboy Championships.
Sam Clark, of Eastmoor, beat Hertfordshire opponent Raja Khan in the 42kg Class 3 category in Liverpool on Saturday, making him the best boxer in the country for his age and weight.
The White Rose Boxing Club member travelled to Everton Park Sports Centre to box in front of a packed house and win the national accolade with an unanimous points decision from the judges.
It avenged last year’s semi-final loss for the Wakefield City High School pupil, who beat Spennymoor Boxing Club’s Michael Jaques in this year’s last four.
His White Rose coaches Richard Beaver and Billy McAdam are proud of their boxer’s achievements and put his success down to “a high level of commitment and dedication”.
“Sam has been inspirational and is a true champion. He has had to beat some very good boxers en route to the final,” they said.
“Boxing at this level has taken a high level of commitment and dedication. Since losing at the semi-final stage last year Sam has shown real focus and a desire to win.
“Maintaining the 42kg weight limit for the two month period during the Championships, and sustaining the high intensity training required to be able to compete at this level have required a great deal of sacrifice by Sam.
“His family, especially his dad, Dave, have been very supportive of his boxing and he is always well supported by them wherever he boxes.
“Sam has made his family and the club very proud.”
Clark boxed in his usual aggressive style in Saturday’s final and took the fight to Khan from the first bell, landing fast combinations and forcing Khan miss his shots.
When Khan did get in range his punches were unable to penetrate Clark’s defence.
The Wakefield big-hitter upped his work rate in the second round and started to land punches with more success.
The intensity soon started to tell on Khan, who received a standing eight count following a ferocious attack.
Clark has been invited to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to meet the current Great Britain boxing squad and be awarded his golden gloves for his success.
White Rose stablemate Hareem Ali will make the first defence of his 67kg Yorkshire Title belt tonight, Friday, when he takes on Keighley fighter Schail Ayub at Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford. Ali won the title in December.