An outstanding performance by up-and-coming Mansfield boxer Archie Alton took him to the cusp of glory at the National Youth Cadet Championships.
Sixteen-year-old Alton, who fights for the Quarry Lane Boxing Club, was not only crowned East Midlands regional champion in the 60kg weight class for the second year running.
He also reached the national semi-finals before losing on a split decision against two-times national champion and European bronze medallist George Mitchell.
“Archie has consistently shown that he can box at the top level in the country,” said the club’s proud head coach, Julian Leivars.
“For a gym that has been open only for 12 months, we are really punching above our weight.”
Alton, who goes to Vision West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield, took his East Midlands title at his first attempt in the youth age class.
Leivars said: “He boxed a lad from Leicester in the final at Scunthorpe, but won all three rounds comfortably.”
The victory put Alton into the national quarter-finals at the Doncaster Dome, where he was given a tough draw against an opponent from Repton Boys Boxing Club in London.
“On experience and record, nobody gave him a chance,” said Leivars. “However, we knew better because we had put together a game plan.
“Archie boxed to instruction, and put in the performance of his career so far, outworking the Repton southpaw and landing the cleaner shots to claim a well-deserved victory.”
The semis also took place at the Doncaster Dome, and the fight against a boxer as highly respected as Mitchell represented a huge step-up in class for the Quarry Lane boxer. However, he was far from fazed and dictated the pace in a terrific fight before his Hertfordshire opponent got the nod.
Alton’s efforts put another feather in the cap for the Mansfield club. Coach Leivars added: “As well as the honours won by our England representative, Nico Leicars, we now have three regional champions, a Haringey Cup silver medallist, a senior national semi-finalist and a youth national semi-finalist.
“Not bad for a club with only three punching bags and a boxing ring!
“We are regularly getting calls from boxers throughout the Midlands wanting to join us, so, at this rate, we wll be hoping to move to bigger premises soon.”