BOXING: Carl is ready to impress in front of the cameras
Far Cotton ABC welterweight Carl Fail looks to impress the nation's fight fans tonight (Thursday), writes MATTHEW BOZEAT.
The Great Britain championships in Sheffield will be screened live on Box Nation – and the bill includes Fail battling Connor Loftus at 69kgs.
Loftus has twice won the Elite championship – in 2014 and 2015 – and the Leeds fighter is a seasoned international.
He won silver at last month’s Golden Gong tournament in Macedonia.
Fail, sponsored by Crystal Electronics and The Meat Place, said: “This is my toughest test so far – and I’m looking forward to showing everyone what I can do.
“This is a great stage for me and it’s nice to think that on Friday morning, a lot of people might know who I am and what I can do.
“Connor has been boxing internationally and I know he’s supposed to beat me, but I like defying the odds.”
Fail did that when he won the Elite Championship in May, outpointing No.1 seed Ekow Essuman in the final, and he went on to add the Tri Nations title.
Fail reckons twin brother Ben has just as much talent and last night, he was looking to win national honours in High Wycombe.
Ben reached the final of the National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs final with victory in Liverpool last weekend.
He unanimously outpointed Shaquille Thompson (Manor).
Thompson went into the bout with a 37-9 record and Fail dropped him on the second on the way to victory.
Delighted coach John Daly said: “We wanted Ben to go out there and win every round – and that’s what he did.
“He really did the business – and I always knew he would.
“We knew it would be a tough fight, but I’ve never seen Ben so focused.”
Fail admitted he was “100 per cent confident” he would win the semi final – and he was determined to go on and win the championship last night at Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.
Fail lost a narrow split decision in last year’s final and said after winning his semi-final: “I’m determined that won’t happen again. This title means a lot to me.”
Fail hopes winning the championship could lead to an England call-up.
After Fail won his semi-final, he headed to Banbury to watch club-mate Connor Downs.
The 18-year-old from East Hunsbury completed a great day for the club by outpointing Tom Brown.
Downs won unanimously – and impressed.
Daly said: “People were asking us afterwards where Far Cotton is.
“They liked Connor.”
Downs picked up a cut on his right eyebrow during the fight, but Daly says the wound won’t keep him out of the Elite Championships that get underway in March.
Downs is set to enter at 60kgs.
Kings Heath ABC’S Kyle Mason overcame 2016 development champion Lee Rooney (Wearside) to claim his place in this years NABC Class B final.
Talented Mason settled the bout with a dominant final round as he found his range after two tight rounds, which neither boxer had been able to control.
Mason, who prevailed on a split decision in front of a noisy crowd at Croxteth Leisure Centre in Liverpool, now goes on to box Amo Singh from the London Lion Club at Bristol on Sunday.
“Kyle kept his composure on Saturday,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.
“The crowd was very vocal and backing the other lad, but we knew it was close and I asked for a big round in the last and he produced it.
“We know there is better to come as he has a lot of natural skill.
“While the final won’t be easy, as you would expect, it is also well within his capability.”