BOXING: Stevens dreaming of an England call

Laura Stevens
Laura Stevens
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Far Cotton welterweight Laura Stevens is hoping for an England call up after being picked to take part in a talent programme.

England boxing bosses contacted the 27-year-old recently and she’s been to training sessions in Boston and Chesterfield.

Stevens is on the national selectors’ radar after a good year.

She reached the Elite final in Liverpool in April, losing a close decision to Stephanie Wroe (Army), and was also a semi finalist in last month’s Haringey Box Cup where clubmate Ben Fail struck gold.

Far Cotton coach John Daly said: “Laura is a real credit to this boxing club.

“She’s a real grafter.

“She’s always in the gym and she works hard when she’s there.

“She gets good sparring at the gym with Morgan Bosley and Josh Pensee and I’m not surprised the England coaches want to look at her.

“Laura has always said her ambition is to box in internationals and this is a step towards that.”

Stevens, who works in the probation service, recently impressed Welsh coach Colin Jones, who challenged for world honours in the 1980s.

Stevens forked out for a training camp in Spain recently where Jones was among the coaches - and she came home with a trophy for being the best trainer.

Daly says super-heavyweight Seb Brown is targeting the Development championships.

They get underway in September and the 26-year-old got a confidence boost ahead of the championships when he saw the latest English rankings in trade paper ‘Boxing News.’

There was Solomon Dacres at No 9 in the super-heavyweight list - and Brown has beaten him.

He outpointed Dacres (Warley) at the Cotton Club in December.

Dacres has since been called up to the England Development squad - and Daly hopes that will inspire Brown to fulfil his potential.

He’s won East Midlands Development honours in his 19-bout career, but Daly says he’s capable of more.

“I always thought Seb had something about him from when he first came to the gym,” said the Towcester Road chief.

“He’s always had that long jab and has looked so comfortable.”

Meanwhile, Carl Fail has headed back to the Great Britain camp and will be training with the Olympians in their final session before they fly out to Rio for this year’s Games.

Far Cotton star Fail has been making a fantastic impression on the international stage and the 19-year-old has recently been sparring with former British and two-time Commonwealth welterweight champion Franki e Gavin.

Now he is taking inspiration from the Olympic hopefuls as he continues to further his own ambitions in the amateur game.

“It’s the Olympians’ last training session so it’s good to go there and soak up all of the atmosphere,” Fail said.

“It’s a great experience for me and it will be great to see how they get ready to go and win medals.

“I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere and seeing what it’s like.

“I’m on a four-day training camp with GB. I’m on the podium potential scheme.

“With all the Olympians going to Rio, they’re more likely to turn pro after it, so it’s going to stand us in good stead to go full-time.

“It’s about going there and really performing to show the coaches I’m good enough to go full-time.”

Fail struck gold at the Tri-Nations championships in Scotland at the end of May.

And though there are no more tournaments coming up imminently, he says he

can’t wait to get back in the ring.

“I’m learning things every day and although I haven’t got any competitions coming up, I’m fit week in, week out,” Fail said.

“I get to train well and I’m in a really good place at the moment.

“I just can’t wait for the next competition to come along.”

Elsewhere, Harry and Jimmy Pullen have been sparring with the England schoolboys in Tamworth this week.

The 14-year-old twins have made a good impression, with the England coaches happy with their efforts.