BOXING: Aaron aims to follow in the footsteps of brother Carl as Far Cotton ace bids for glory
Far Cotton welterweight Aaron Fail says he's determined to follow in his big brother's footsteps.
Last season, Carl Fail came from nowhere to win the England Boxing Elite welterweight championship in just his seventh senior bout, but, because of his Great Britain commitments, he is ruled out of this year’s event.
The Towcester Road club have entered Aaron at 69kgs in the championship that gets underway in Retford on Sunday and the 18-year-old is confident of his chances after a good win on his senior debut in Birmingham last weekend.
He forced Connor Goodchild (Small Heath) to retire after the opening round, and said afterwards: “I felt fit and sharp and now I want to keep the Elite title in the family. I’m feeling confident.”
Coach John Daly, who steered Fail to the Junior Development title in 2014, was pleased with him afterwards, saying: “That was the best I have seen Aaron box.
“He boxed the way I’ve always wanted him to box. He got his jab working and put the pressure on and I was so pleased with him in the first round.
“I was looking forward to seeing what he was going to do in the next two.
“Aaron was definitely going to pick it up more and maybe Goodchild knew that and that’s why he pulled out.”
Big brother Ben Fail, Carl’s twin, is also entered in the championship at 75kgs.
He has won all nine contests – seven on unanimous verdicts and two by stoppage - since last year’s championships.
Nathan Leeson reckons he’s the Prince Naseem Hamed of bareknuckle boxing.
The 30-year-old meets Shaun George for the vacant British lightweight championship in front of 4,000 fight fans in Coventry on Saturday, April 22.
Leeson gets his shot at the belt after winning his first six fights by bamboozling opponents with what he calls his “hands-down counter punching.”
He said: “I watched a lot of Prince Naseem Hamed growing up. There was an art to what he did.
“He made boxing look pretty.
“You have to be confident and cheeky to fight that way – and that’s me!
“I stick my tongue out, wind them up and once they are angry, they show me every punch they are going to throw.
“Then I can make them miss – and make them pay!
“To me, boxing is a chess match and I’m always trying to think two or three steps ahead of my opponent.”
Leeson rates his next opponent as his toughest yet.
“This is a step up,” he said, “a real challenge.
“Technically, I’m better than him, but this is a bareknuckle fight and anything can happen.
“I will be the fittest I have been.
“Shaun George is getting the best Nathan Leeson there’s been.”
The winner of the Leeson and George fight is being lined up to challenge for world honours.
Liam James defends the belt against Kevin Bennett on the Coventry show and tickets are available from 07525 591442.
Classy featherweight Liam Davies is Kings Heath ABC’s sole representative in this year’s Elite Championships which begin this Sunday.
Davies, currently rated No.4 in the UK ratings, transferred from Donnington Ex-Servicemans three months ago to prepare for this year’s championships, having reached the final last year before being withdrawn with an injury.
Davies has a rich pedigree having won junior championships and a European bronze medal, but felt he need a change in coaching and environment in the hope of fulfilling his undoubted potential.
“We have very close relationship with his family and his late grandad was a personal friend of mine,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.
“It is a back-handed compliment that someone of his ability should choose us to help him in the next stage of his amateur career and we are only willing to help.
“It speaks volumes that he is willing to travel from Telford and reside in Northampton during the week.
“He is a strong, two-handed puncher and on his day he can beat anyone at his weight.
“It is up to us to collectively bring the best out of him and hopefully make this happen.”