Far Cotton welterweight Drew Brown introduced himself to the nation’s fight fans by winning ‘Ultimate Boxxer.’
5 Spike screened all the action from the Manchester Arena and viewers saw Brown claim the £16,000 top prize by ending the unbeaten records of Jimmy Cooper, Sam Evans and Tom Young.
Ring legend Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton afterwards presented the 21-year-old with a golden gown and the cheque.
Brown said: “I’ve been watching Ricky since I was 10 years old and for him to be there watching me was really special.”
Brown started training with John Daly at the Far Cotton gym on Towcester Road when he was 10 years old – and Daly has been in his corner ever since.
He was there at the Manchester Arena and said: “I’m over the moon.
“I think everyone watching on television would say that Drew is a well-schooled boxer – and he learned his skills at Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club.
“He got through the three fights because of the way he was taught to box and I’m very proud.”
Brown showed punching power, good skills, a solid chin and a good engine.
He took less than a round to win his quarter-final, blasting Cooper to the floor with a right hand, then outboxed Evans after shipping some solid rights in the opening round that brought gasps from his supporters at ringsiders.
That set up a final against Young.
The Leeds puncher had caused a sizeable upset in the semi-finals by chinning pre-tournament favourite Isaac Macleod in just 75 seconds.
But in the final, Brown handed him a boxing lesson and won unanimously on the scorecards.
Brown out jabbed him, held his boxing together well when Young piled on the pressure in the second and then pushed him back in the last.
“Drew didn’t just go out there and have wars,” added Daly. “He used his brains.
“On the way up there, he was so confident. He wasn’t bothered about the money. He just wanted to win – and it couldn’t happen to a nicer lad.
“Tony Poole was my hero – and Drew really reminds me of him.
“He’s got the skills – and the heart as well.”
Poole won Southern Area honours and fought for the British title during his professional career, and Brown said: “I’m hoping winning ‘Ultimate Boxxer’ will open a few doors for me.”