Three outstanding junior boxers from Blackpool’s Sharpstyle Club fought for England in a thrilling international contest against Wales.
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Sharpstyle’s Frank Varey and Nelson Birchall were victorious in their bouts, while his clubmate Jake Abrol fought bravely in defeat at Cannock, Staffordshire, on Sunday.
Wales edged victory 8-7 as the 15-fight competition went down to the final match-up, which was also the only senior contest in the event.
On a bill full of close-fought clashes, seven of which went to split decisions, Varey was a convincing 5-0 winner.
First up for Sharpstyle against Harry Williams, the Blackpool boxer was in scintillating form from the start, throwing fast combinations to head and body from the first bell.
Williams charged forward in the second round in a bid to fluster Frank, who stepped back neatly and repeatedly caught his opponent with uppercuts as he dominated the fight.
Birchall was 18 months younger than opponent Romeo Costa and also conceded six inches in height.
The Welshman tried to push Birchall back but the Sharpstyle fighter was happy to stand in the pocket and trade, scoring a knockdown and forcing his opponent to take two standing counts of eight.
Nelson rallied in the third round, forcing a standing count of his own, but it wasn’t enough as Birchall sealed a 4-1 win in what was announced as the fight of the day.
Jake Abrol’s opponent TJ Price took a 3-2 verdict from a messy fight, in which the boxers got tangled up throughout.
Andy Abrol, head coach of the Sharpstyle gym on Bagot Street, said: “Having our boxers put on an England vest is a huge achievement. It shows the talent coming through.”
Frank’s brother John Tom Varey was also named in the England team only for his intended opponent to pull out.