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Brilliant Ben hits the heights

By Nick Elwell | Grassroots | Published:

Dudley Lions BC’s rising star Ben Collins is hoping he will the opportunity to build on the best win of his fledgling career.

Ben Collins

The 15-year-old Wordsley School pupil produced one of the shocks of the round in the quarter-finals of the Junior ABAs in Stoke by beating Hartlepool Elite’s Henry Rowbotham in under 70kg category.

Rowbotham is a two-time national champion and was heavily fancied to claim a third title.

But he was left reeling by a brilliant display from Collins, who claimed victory on a unanimous decision.

With sport throughout the country in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, Collins must wait to see if he gets the chance to continue his bid for national glory.

“Ben boxed out of this world,” said Lions coach Kev Dillon.

“It was the best performance of his young career.

“The lad he was fighting is a two-time national champion and was one of the favourites to win the competition. He had won 20 of his 23 bouts, which shows the calibre of boxer he is.

“But Ben was absolutely fantastic. He was throwing some big right hands and at one point I thought the referee was going to step in and give the other land a standing count.

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“It’s a shame for Ben that he won’t be fighting again at the end of month.

“The semi-finals and finals were scheduled to take place in Liverpool on March 28 and 29, but they have obviously been postponed.

“But that can’t distract from what he has achieved so far and how he boxed in the quarter-final.

“He should be really proud of what he has done, I know everyone at the club is.”

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With England Boxing advising clubs across the country to shut down, Dillon has been forced to cancel the club’s planned show on April 23.

It’s been a terrible year for boxing. The Youth championships were abandoned due to riots and now the Juniors have been postponed due to the coronavirus campaign. And the same will happen to the Elite championships.

“Our clubs is shut down, which is a shame for the kids and the local community.

“And we have had to cancel the show we had planned in April. But health must come first.

“It’s our 20th anniversary this year and hopefully things will get back to normal later in the year so that we can mark that milestone.”

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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