Crawley Boxing Club’s National Junior Novice Champion Matarr Wanda (16) got a taste of life with the big boys at the weekend, and liked it.
Facing Jake Potts (18) from Felbridge in the Sussex round of the England Youth Championship the Thomas Bennett Community College pupil was not overawed by boxing an older boy.
The first round was extremely close with both boxers trying to get the upper hand. Wanda went back to his corner just behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards.
Wise words during the break from his coach Paddy Harmey were taken on board. Wanda was told to keep at distance to avoid the Felbridge man’s rolling style and to move left to avoid Potts’ favoured left hook.
The advice paid off and Wanda started to dominate during the second.
The third was all Wanda who deservedly took the judges’ decision.
Matarr will now meet the winner of the bout between the Surrey and Hampshire champions for the Southern Counties title.
Next week Wanda’s clubmate Emmanuel Ally meets Sam Noakes of Westree, Kent where he hopes to complete the double and box his way through to the lightweight final on January 31 at Sittingbourne.