Walcot teenage boxers Patrick McDonagh and Orges Peroshi are back on the championship trail tonight in the opening round of the National Youth Championships, an event governed by the new AIBA rules for the first time, writes DAVE VEYSEY.
This means both lads will have to box over three three-minute rounds, instead of three two minutes as before.
Both competed in the recent Youth Ambition tournament, in which McDonagh won the national title and the inexperienced Peroshi performed well to reach the semi finals before losing to the eventual champion.
Sixteen-year-old McDonagh beat Ben Fail from Northampton in the final to claim his third national title.
Now the slate is wiped clean and both lads must start from scratch next week.
McDonagh said ahead of the championships: “I’ve had a two-week break over Christmas to recover from the last tournament, so this event has come around a bit quick really.
“But I’m running every day and sparring hard in the gym so I should be ok.”
Albanian Peroshi, also 16, has only had a handful of fights for Walcot, but he has proved to be a tough nut for his opponents to crack.
He said: “I love training and boxing for Walcot. I hope to have learned from my last tournament, and I am looking to improve all the time.”
Chief coach Harry Scott added: “Both lads had a break over Christmas as they needed a rest after the Youth Ambition tournament.
“So we have only had about three weeks to prepare for this event.
“It’s not ideal really but you can’t work the boxers flat out all season.
“Boxing over three minutes rounds will be tough for the boys, but it’s the same for their opponents too.
“I hope they perform well and do themselves and Walcot proud.”