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Young Kendal boxers shine at prestigious European Tournament

L-R: Paul Blair Assistant Coach, members of Kendal A.B.C. featuring gold medallist Reece Johnson, silver medallist Jake Green, gold medallist Laughlan Savage, and Head Coach Alan Willoughby (Photo Brian Ferrington)

The achievement of winning two golds and one silver medal, highlighted the standard of the boxing prowess of three young talented boxers from Kendal A.B.C., at a prestigious annual multi-nation boxing tournament in Denmark recently.

Laughlan Savage won his gold medal by beating Khaled Fahbro of Helvikens B.K., Sweden, in the final. The technical skill of Savage proved too much for his opponent and the judges had no difficulty in unanimously awarding the bout in his favour.

Reece Johnson also won a gold medal by beating Geniti Tahka of Uiipinigork B.C., Finland, in his final, displaying superior punching power. He too was awarded a unanimous decision by the judges.

Gold medallist Reece Johnson, silver medallist Jake Green, gold medallist Laughlan Savage (Photo Brian Ferrington)

Jake Green was also a finalist and won a silver medal in his bout. He was up against the Welsh National Champion Keegan Jones of Dyfran, Wales, in a very closely contested and punishing fight, which could have gone either way. Unfortunately, the judges awarded the gold to Jones by the narrowest of margins in a split decision.

The annual October event, took place over three days at Hillerod, near Copenhagen, where ten nations and 400 boxers participated in the HSK Box Cup Tournament. The tournament is regarded as one of the best international contests in Europe. This unique Tournament was first held in 1985 and was the first of its kind. At this time there were not many tournaments in Europe where fighters of all levels could expect a fair fight and be matched with an opponent of approximately the same level of experience and skills. The event is run by the Danish Amateur Boxing Association.

The Kendal Squad impressed the organiser Steen Sorenson so much that they have been invited back again next year. He told Alan Willoughby “Will you please come back next year and we will provide transport for your squad to and from the airport at Copenhagen.”

Accompanying the squad was Head Coach Alan Willoughby, Assistant Coach Paul Blair, Team Driver Craig Thorpe, together with Archie Reid and Sol Huntley supporting members of Kendal A.B.C. both of whom will be boxing at next year’s contest.

As part of the teams treat by the Club, Alan took them to the prestigious ‘Rib House Restaurant’ in Hillerod, where they were treated to steak the night before the contest and the night after the contest in celebration of their outstanding performance.

Head Coach Alan Willoughby said: “I want to congratulate them on their dedication throughout the year with the aim to winning gold. Their skill sets they produced on the day was overwhelming.

“Young Jake Green to box a champion of Wales in the final and only to lose by the nearest of margins was a very creditable performance and will put him in good stead for next year.

“Laughlin Savage and Reece Johnson both winning their finals ‘bell to bell’ in each round was a joy to watch. They all can’t wait till next year, especially the two who came to spectate when they too will be able to show what they can do. We are all over the moon, but we can’t rest on our laurels.

“Special Sunday squad training has already begun for next year’s Tournament, which takes place in October 2020.

“My special thanks must go to Dan proprietor of Fish Express in Kendal, sponsoring the squad throughout the year with meals when they trained every Sunday for the contest. I would also like to thank once again AST Signs who sponsored our tracksuits. Their support has been invaluable.”

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