Boxing: Rio’s just grand as he stars in the ring

Back row (left to right): Rio Lynch, Joe Crawford, Harvey Fletcher. Front (left to right): Keenan McGuire, Nathan Danson

Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club’s head coach Nik Tucker

First published in Sport by , Features Writer

ELEVEN year old prospect Rio Lynch packed a mighty punch to win his debut fight at the Sharpstyle ABC show at Blackpool’s De Vere Hotel.

Lynch, who fights for Burnley’s Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club, proved too strong for his Staffordshire opponent, Michael Bartlett, with the Cherry Fold Primary School lad landing the unanimous verdict.

Lynch capped a superb display when he landec the Visiting Boxer of the day prize for his performance in the three round 90 seconds each contest.

Another youngster tipped for a big future is Harvey Fletcher, and he silenced the home crowd by beating Blackpool’s John Smith on home turf.

The opening round saw Fletcher’s more aggressive style dominate the opening exchanges, while he also produced a controlled performance in the next, pushing Smith on to the ropes to catch the attention of the ringside judges.

The third and final round was a close affair, but the decision was never in doubt as Fletcher kept his impressive unbeaten run going.

The club’s Minor North West champion, Smokin' Joe Crawford, also turned in a promising display, before his opponent Joe McGuinness edged the split verdict in a tight contest which pushed both boys to the limit.

Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club coach Nik Tucker praised the up and coming Burnley star.

He said “Rio is a terrific prospect and he showed great composure in his latest fight.

“He has only just turned eleven, but Rio is as brave as a lion.

“Technically, Rio is one of the best I’ve worked with and I’m sure he has a big future ahead of him.

“He is a character with plenty of attitude and we are all really proud of his efforts.

“He has deserved this success because he works very hard."

Tucker admits he has been impressed by the development of Sandygate’s clutch of junior talent this term.

“We’ve got some fine boxers on the books, particularly in the aged eight to ten bracket," he added.

“They’ve come on leaps and bounds over the last few months, but the most important thing of all is that they enjoy boxing and competing.”

Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club is one of the long established clubs in the area. For further information about the club head coach Nik Tucker on 07855505719 or e-mail www.sandygateabc.com

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