Boxing coach Mel Payne believes the fear of defeat inspired youngster Joe Manning to victory in his ABA National Schoolboy semi-final at the weekend.
The Ferry Street fighter was behind going into the final round of three against Omar Chaima, from Finchley ABC, during their last-four encounter at Portsmouth on Saturday.
But Manning, 13, called on all of his skills in the last to win a majority decision from the judges and book his place in the national finals, at Liverpool, on the weekend of March 2/3.
Payne said: “Joe was a couple of punches behind after the first two rounds and heading for defeat.
“But he really kicked into gear and dominated the last round. I think the fear of losing really spurred him on.
“The other lad wanted it more in the first two rounds, but Joe really dug in to show his class.”
Manning’s victory guarantees him a fight for his country at the Three Nations tournament, involving England, Wales and Scotland later this year.
The teenager could meet Kings Heath boxer Ben Vaughan in a repeat of last year’s clash between the two.