Brooklands duo box clever to bag titles
Two members of a Dudley boxing gym have shown they pack a punch after being crowned Midlands Junior champions.
Kian McDermott and Kai Fellows are both now through to the national quarter-finals having battled their way to the regional belts.
Dormston School student Fellows claimed a split decision victory over Birmingham-based Amir Khan in the 44kgs category for boys born in 2004.
McDermott, meanwhile, proved too strong for the Priory Club’s Ben Collins, over whom he secured a unanimous points win at 64kgs.
The latter’s success - his second successive Midlands title - was particularly pleasing for his coach and Brooklands owner Darren McDermott, who also happens to be his dad.
“It’s brilliant and the best feeling, though I think I am going to be grey and bald by the time Kian has finished fighting!” quipped McDermott, the former English middleweight champion.
“Fair play to him, he puts in all the effort and is really dedicated. He’s up at 5.30am every morning to start training, before he goes to school at Ellowes Hall.
“He’s younger than a lot of the lads in his age group and in is more often than not paired with lads in the year above. But he is very strong.”
Fellows, who had just four previous bouts on his record, proved experience isn’t everything as he overcame Khan.
“If I am being honest I was a little dubious about putting Kai in at first but he boxed really, really well,” said McDermott.
“He’s a quick learner and nothing seems to faze him. As I said to him afterwards, Amir Khan isn’t a bad name to have on your record at the age of 14!”
The titles are the latest success story for Brooklands, the gym opened by McDermott after a serious brain injury forced him to quit the sport in 2010.
Initially situated in the back garden of his Woodsetton home, it moved to bigger premises at the Mount Taber church, on Sedgley Road, in 2016.
“Things are going really well at the moment,” said McDermott. “It is brilliant to have two Midlands champions in the gym.
“We had a few bad results before Christmas but since then the boxers seem to have really switched on.”
McDermott and Fellows travel to Stoke-on-Trent this weekend for the national quarter-finals, where they will face as yet unnamed opponents.