STEPPING into the ring in an army final is the pinnacle of many amateur boxers’ careers. But for two young Chester fighters, it is just the beginning.
Heavy Hitters ABC in Hoole was invited to send a pair of rising stars to appear at the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment Inter-Company Competition at Tern Hill Barracks in Market Drayton.
Around 800 army boxing fans were spectating when 11-year-old Aaron Haddock and 10-year-old Connor Bilsland were introduced.
Aaron, from Vicars Cross, and Connor, from Huntington, got to experience all the pageantry of army boxing before taking each other on in the ring in an exhibition clash.
They made a grand entrance with accompanying music and were heralded by the regimental band before demonstrating their skills.
The bout was arranged after members of the regiment took coaching sessions with the Heavy Hitters youngsters as part of their coaching qualifications. Afterwards, Aaron and Connor were presented with special trophies.
“It was a great night and the biggest crowd these young lads have ever been in front of before,” said Aaron’s dad Duncan.
“It was an honour to watch my lad walk out there in front of all those cheering army lads.”
Deva Police ABC’s presentation night at the Broughton Wings Sports & Social Club saw British and Welsh amateur super heavyweight champion Andy Jones and Welsh youth champion Joe Lovell tie for the boxer of the year crown.
More than 250 people associated with the Saltney- based club attended the awards bash including guests of honour, Saltney mayor Ann Lloyd and town councillor Veronica Jay.
The boxers’ boxer of the year prize went to Ash Appleby while Joe picked up a second gong for most dedicated fighter.
Sam Pickering was named the best junior boxer and received his award from club coach Tommy Dix, who was trained as a youngster by Sam’s great grandfather.
Joe Rigg earned the best fight of the year award for his performance in his debut bout and club person of the year was won by fundraiser Charlotte Jackson.
Rebecca Lovell was also honoured for her performances for the club’s associated netball team.