Boxing: Top coach Preacher’s the talents of Reiko

Reiko Rickwood with Billy ‘The Preacher’ Graham

Reiko Rickwood with Billy ‘The Preacher’ Graham

First published in Sport

Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club kept the mantle of one of Lancashire’s busiest club’s as its young fighters were in action once again – and this time it was the National Minor’s finalist and NW Champion Reiko Rickwood who stepped in to the ring.

The 12-year-old was up against the experienced Calum Francis of Hoddenham & Ely ABC – the East Anglian champion was having his 18th bout compared to Reiko’s 7th seventh.

It proved to be a mouth-watering match-up, a contest of three by one-and-a-half minute rounds at The Masonic Lodge, Ashton-Under-Lyne on the Ashton Albion ABC show.

From the opening bell Stoops Estate’s Rickwood met the taller Francis straight on unleashing a mammoth barrage of blows, connecting to the body and forcing Francis onto the ropes.

The phases of attacks were relentless from Rickwood. Standing up in-between round’s the Hameldon Year 7 pupil stayed focused and diligent.

The second round again saw Rickwood match the strong Cambridgeshire boxer punch for punch before Francis upped his game in the third sensing a upset.

It was a breath-taking encounter but it was the Sandygate fighter’s night as, one minute in, he landed a solid right hook to the body which totally took the wind out of Francis forcing the referee to halt proceedings and administer a standing eight count.

Both boys got a special mention from the MC stating it was one of the best contests he had witnessed from lads so young.

Judges ringside had no doubt on the verdict, a unanimous win for Sandygate’s Rickwood.

Manchester’s top pro coach Billy ‘Preacher’ Graham handed out the awards on the evening and he also commented on the cracking contest, awarding the Sandygate figher the honour of boxer-of-the-night.

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