Bognor Amateur Boxing Club headed to Dungarvan in Ireland with Rhyan Shannon, Phoebe Grifiths-Johnson, Charlie Wise and Charley Mason for the annual international Celtic Box Cup.
Coaches Paul Mason, Alan Wise and Mick Griffiths took them to a tournament that brings high-quality boxers together from many different countries to compete over three days.
Almost 400 boxers across all weight and classes were competing to become international box cup champions.
On the first day 17-year-old youth 64kg boxer Shannon was drawn to fight an Irish lad with almost triple his experience. Shannon boxed with courage and determination, causing his opponent difficulty from the first bell to the last.
Unfortunately his opponent negated his long reach as he tired and the bout progressed and Shannon lost on a points dessision. His opponent went on to win gold two days later.
Next up was 18-year-old senior eliet 64kg boxer Mason, who was matched with a strong 30-year-old boxer from Jersey. Mason made short work of his opponent causing a knockout just one minute into the first round.
That took him into the semi-final against an all-Ireland champion and current holder of the Celtic Box Cup title. Mason started busily and confidently with highly skilful boxing, taking the first round on all judges’ scorecards.
But part of the way through round two he received an accidental illegal elbow to the back of his head causing him concussion. This ended his campaign and a chance of a shot at gold the following day.
Bognor’s 21-year-old 56kg elite senior boxer Wise made his return to the ring after four years out and went into a straight finals match. He was to box a lad from the Dale Youth BC in London, renowned as one of the most successful boxing clubs in Great Britain. It has produced top amateurs that have gone on to become professional world champions.
Despite ring rust Wise took his opponent all the way to a very close split-decision loss. Bognor’s coaches said this was fantastic from Wise considering his long time away from the sport. He brought home a silver medal.
Phoebe Grifiths-Johnson unfortunately found herself without any opponents to box. This was extremely disappointing for her and her coaches.
Coach Mason said: “It was such a shame as Phoebe is a fantastic boxer and on her day is capable of beating anyone.”
She is already the English champion and holds an international gold medal.
Mason added: “The trip was a marvellous experience for the boxers and one the club plan to repeat next year. It’s always good to put Bognor on the map and that they did. Well done to all involved.”
* The club thanked Charley Mason’s sponsors. TAO Spades bars in Bognor, and the MSC MoT and service centre at Wisborough Green for thier support.