Merseyside boxers claimed an impressive six gold and two silver medals at one of the most prestigious end-of-season tournaments last weekend.
The Monkstown Cup, hosted in Sallynoggin, Dublin, had a staggering 500 boxers compete from 110 registered clubs from 11 different countries.
Merseyside and Cheshire boxing brought a squad of 11 boys – seven of which collected medals while a number of clubs went independently, of which gold medalist Ellis Grant (Transport) was one of. That’s two titles in two weeks; his Monkstown gold going alongside his National Schoolboy’s title.
Ellis Grant (Transport) with his gold medal from the Monkstown Cup in Dublin
Alex Pattison (Gemini) was awarded runner-up for the boxer of the entire tournament following flawless performances in all three of his fights. The Gemini youngster defeated a schoolboy European champion and Irish champion en-route to his gold medal.
Callum Thompson (Tower Hill) won his final by beating an Irish champion who had recently represented his country at European level.
John Doyle (Salisbury), another one of the outstanding performers, had three fights and excelled to claim gold.
Ethan Brown (Gemini) collected the squad’s fourth gold medal while Connor Butler (Kirkby), fighting at a ‘catchweight’ won his final.
There were also silver medals for Harry Kinsella (Kirkdale) – who missed out on a very close decision in the final – and Sean Arkwright (Salisbury).
2014 gold medalist Adam Vaughan (Tower Hill) lost out on the chance to repeat his success with a dubious decision in his first bout.
Judd Cameron (Sefton), Luke Duffy (Croxteth) and Kevin Connell (Sefton) were the others who just missed out on medals.
Coaches Alan Vaughan, Steven Harkin, John Warbutton and Lee Holmes all went out with the squad.
Vaughan said: “We had a brilliant time. We have a lot of potential within the region and there’s no doubt we would have had a few more medals had it not been for a few dubious decisions.
“There were a few clubs from the region that sent a couple of lads. Some were inexperienced but it was still good for them to go and get the feel of an international tournament like that.
“Hopefully we can go again next year with an even stronger team.”
He added: “There will be a lot more tournaments coming up which we are now trying to get the kids out to. Let’s catch up with these other regions, which may be a little bit ahead of us at the minute. We need to get back in line and back up with the likes of the Yorkshire and London regions because we have got some promise in Liverpool – some brilliant boxers.
“We had a few lads missing because they never attended the regional squads; some of which are national champions. One of the criteria of going on these trips is attending the regional squads. Being a national champion is not a guarantee. The kids that are attending and trying their best also get the chance to experience these trips and tournaments.
“There are more lads out there that can make this squad stronger. Hopefully they’ll start to get involved.
“With amateurs it’s about bringing these boys up from the roots. Getting these sorts of experiences is what makes champions. Doing these tournaments from a young age will make these fighters better and better. I’ve done them myself from an early age and I know exactly what the process should be and what we’re looking for.”