BOXING: Fail all set for Great Britain debut as he heads for Romania

Carl Fail
Carl Fail
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Far Cotton ABC welterweight Carl Fail is off to Romania this weekend for the European under-22 championships.

The 20-year-old makes his debut for Great Britain in the eight-day tournament that starts on Monday.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” admitted Fail, who has also been picked to represent British Lionhearts in World Series of Boxing.

“This tournament is supposed to be for Podium boxers and I’m on the Podium Potential squad.

“I must be something right to get picked for this.

“This is a major tournament and a massive opportunity for me to put down a marker.

“There have been a lot of fighters turning pro since the Olympics last summer and this tournament is for the next generation of fighters coming through.

“Tough countries like Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will be sending fighters they think can win medals at the next Olympics.

“That’s how tough it will be and I’m doing everything I can in the gym to make sure I’m ready.”

Fail has fought at European level before.

He reached the last 16 of the European Youth championships in Poland in 2015 and says he will be well prepared for the challenges he faces in Poland.

“I’m in the gym every day with (Far Cotton coach) John (Daly) and (twin brother) Ben putting in a lot of work,” said Fail.

“John has put a lot of time into us, driving us all around the country for top class sparring.

“I always do everything 100 per cent, whether it’s the European championship or the East Midlands finals in the ABAs.”

Fail won the ABAs – now known as the Elite championships – last year.

He became the town’s first winner of the championship since 2000 last May by outpointing No 1 seed Ekow Essuman in the final in Liverpool, but with his Great Britain commitments, it remains unclear whether he will be able to defend the title.

He said: “I want to go in the ABAs if I can. I want to prove I’m still No 1.”

Northampton super-welterweight Drew Brown heads back to where his boxing career started for his next fight.

The 20-year-old combination puncher looks to make it four wins out of four at the Best Western Hotel in Corby on Friday, March 17.

Brown has made a good start to his professional career since deciding to punch for pay last year after serving a 42-bout amateur apprenticeship with Far Cotton ABC.

He had his first amateur bout at Corby’s Irish Centre when he was 11 years old – and won on points.

“I was really nervous sitting in the changing room before the bout,” remembered Brown, who’s sponsored by A1 County Couriers.

“I had been in the gym for a year and knew I was ready, but it was still scary.

“But when you get in the ring, the adrenaline kicks in and you realise: ‘It’s him or me.’

“I just went for it – and I won.

“It was a brilliant feeling and the next day I went on a 25-mile bike ride to raise money for charity !”

Brown says that right from the start of his ring career, he intended to turn professional – and now his target is the British championship.

Manager Jon Pegg and coaches John Daly and Spencer McCracken are pleased with the way Brown has started his pro career and he said: “I’m just looking to work my way up the rankings.

“I train hard, I feel good and every time I fight, I leave everything in that ring.”

The show in Corby also features Northampton middleweight Kieron Conway, an impressive points winner on his pro debut in Bedworth last month, and tickets are available from 07909 442443.

NORTHAMPTON ABC’s Yousuf Ibrahim won again in Grantham last weekend.

In the 52-54kg contest he unanimously beat Casey Stevenson of Corby Olympic to take the title and remain undefeated, giving his opponent two standing eight counts in the third round.

The east midlands champion now travels to Leeds on March 12 for the pre quarter finals.