Heros Gym pack a punch with national double

editorial image

Heros Amateur Boxing Club boasts two schoolboy national champions for the first time in its history.

Billy Gaskin (35 kilos) and Henry Lee (44 klos) – two of the Lynn club’s brightest prospects – both tasted success at the National Minor Schoolboy ABA Championships in Chesterfield.

Southern England champion Gaskin, 11, enhanced his already-growing reputation by defeating northern counterpart William Tyers, while Lee saw off the challenge of the highly-rated Lewis Percival.

Mel Payne, one of the coaches at Heros, said: “It’s really amazing for a small club like ourselves to have two national champions, competing against the bigger clubs across the country.

“We’ve always had a reputation for producing some good kids and they are well schooled, but we’ve never had two national champions at the same time before.

“We spend a lot of time with them.

“If there are any international events for England coming up they should both be picked as they are both number one.”

Gaskin dominated his contest against Tyers from start-to-finish to pick up a unanimous points decision.

He switched his attacks from body to the head, pressing forward with some hard and fast combinations.

“Billy is the best kid I’ve ever had at his age,” admitted Payne.

“We’ve had the likes of Joe Manning and Luke Rudd before, but this kid is special.

“He has got that little bit of extra edge about him. Coming second is never an option.

“Even before the tournament, everyone was trying to avoid fighting him.”

Clearly buoyed by the performance of clubmate and friend Gaskin, Lee, also 11, took to the ring to dismantle Percival – also by an unanimous verdict.

After an even first round and listening to the advice of coaches Richard Girdlestone, Nick (Tax) Taylor and Payne, Lee stepped it up.

He landed the cleaner and more telling punches to land the national crown.

“Henry did really well, too. The lad he defeated was a tough cookie,” said Payne.

“They are both fantastic kids.

“All we want to see them do now is continue their progress.”

The duo sailed through the four regional rounds, winning all of their bouts by unanimous decisions.

Fellow Heros coach Girdlestone said: “The boys have worked so hard on their skill, technique and fitness.

“They both possess that highly-competitive edge, that makes them a champion.

“To win a national title is so hard to achieve, but this was amazing.

“They both plan to train even harder for next season and aim for the ultimate prize, which is to box internationally for England.”