BOXING: Fail ready for next challenge as he is picked by British Lionhearts

Carl Fail
Carl Fail

Far Cotton welterweight Carl Fail says he’s ready for the next challenge in his ring career after being picked to represent British Lionhearts in the World Series of Boxing.

Fail has been chosen at 69kgs, along with Cyrus Pattinson and Pat McCormack, and for the 20 year old from East Hunsbury, his selection is a huge vote of confidence.

World Series of Boxing pits the world’s top amateurs against each other over five, three-minute rounds and, as ever, Fail is confident.

For the Lionhearts, World Series Boxing got underway with a match against Italia Thunder last week and Fail said: “This is massive.

“Fighting over five rounds will be a new challenge, but I’m with the Great Britain set up to test myself.

“We do at least six rounds sparring and I feel I get better with each round.

“My opponents get weaker – and I get stronger.

“I’m definitely confident I will do well.”

The win that clinched Fail his place in WSB was the Great Britain final against Connor Loftus.

Fail unanimously outpointed the Leeds southpaw in Sheffield in December to cap a sensational year.

He won the Elite championship in just his seventh bout before adding Tri Nations and Great Britain gold and said: “I was told before I fought Connor, I needed another year before going for WSB.

“But after the fight (British Amateur Boxing Association Performance Director) Robert McCracken said he was impressed and now I have got a chance.

“I’m well chuffed.”

Fail has a busy spell coming up.

He represents Britain at the Gee Bee tournament in Finland next month and further ahead, there are the world championships later this year.

“I have to take it one step at a time,” he said. “I’m just happy to be fighting regularly and testing myself.”

Conway praying his biggest fan can watch professional debut

Northampton middleweight Kieron Conway is praying his No 1 fan will be cheering him on when he launches his professional career next week.

Conway is matched with Sonny Whiting in a tough-looking debut in Bedworth a week on Saturday (February 25) – and he hopes George Spence will be there.

Spence suffered two strokes while in Las Vegas last month to watch the rematch between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz.

Frampton has sent the 70 year old his best wishes and his family are waiting for him to come home.

“George is my No 1 fan,” said Conway. “He knows his boxing, has helped to train me – and he’s been a lucky charm as well.

“He has watched me box all over the country so many times and I can only remember him seeing me lose twice.

“Both times, he thought the judges were mad.

“He was a bit biased, but it made me smile. George has always been on my side.

“I would love to see him in Bedworth next week, but all we really want is for George to come home and make a full recovery.”

Tickets to watch Conway, who’s sponsored by Mark Wilson Plumbing, Clues Menswear and Project Warrior, are available from 07919 344305.

Heath trio progress in Youth Championships

Kings Heath have three boxers through to this weekend’s Youth championship quarter finals.

Nico Leivars, Eithan James and Ben Vaughan all head to Sheffield tonight for the culmination of the championship after chalking up wins in last weekend’s pre quarters in Cotgrave.

Leivars outpointed Callum Grace at 60kgs in the pick of the afternoon’s bouts.

Beaten in four national finals, Leivars went through to the last eight with a unanimous points win after a ferocious, high-quality bout.

The opening round was close – they stood in front of each other and traded quality punches – and after that, Grace (Platinum) couldn’t stay with Leivars.

Leivars forced Grace to give ground with body shots in the second and kept the punches coming in threes and fours throughout the last.

At 56kgs, James, silver medallist at last year’s European Juniors, outboxed Mohammed Ahmed (KBW) and Vaughan was too strong for Lewis Spaven (Westway) in a battle of southpaws, upping a gear in the second round to unload a tremendous barrage of around 20 unanswered punches that forced a count.

Vaughan needed only two more punches – a right and left – to force the stoppage and stay on course for another national title.