BUXTON Amateur Boxing Club’s sole entry into this year’s National Junior Championships, Jon Pickering, had the potential for a busy week if he continued winning, after a glut of entries at the under-66kg weight category.
After victory at Ilkeston in the county semi-final, Pickering was pitched against a previous adversary in the form of rugged South Normanton boxer Danny Sampson, at the Pennine Hotel in Derby.
Pickering knew he was always going to have a tough bout against Sampson who, as ever, came to fight and looked to govern the bout with a fast start. Pickering was too experienced to be drawn into a scrap and, for the most part, kept things long and sharp.
This was a tough contest throughout for Pickering, owing somewhat to the temperature in the ring and a determined opponent, but the Buxton boxer remained in control and deserved the unanimous victory to claim a well-contested Derbyshire Championship.
The reward for this victory was a bout two days later in the Midlands semi-final.
This was a perfect venue for championship boxing and, operating on computer scoring, Pickering entered as favourite.
The subsequent contest demonstrated how much Pickering had improved over the past two years as he proceeded to systematically dismantle his opponent, banging one-twos in with ease on the front foot as his opponent gamely tried to walk forward.
The score after round one was 10-1 to Pickering, and this should have been enough to pull his West Midlands opponent out. Unwisely he came out for more punishment in the second and third, Pickering landing heavy shots at will, until deciding to ease off the gas and steer clear of harm for the last minute.
This should have been waved off earlier, but Pickering did his job en-route to a 32-5 points win and a place in the Midlands final.
l Buxton ABC host their second show on April 27. For ticket options, which include a £20 VIP and food package, or standard tickets at £12.50, call Ciaran on 07961 839 433.