WALCOT boxer Mikey McDonagh booked his place in next week’s National Schoolboy semi-final with a convincing win over London champion Thomas Rolfe on Sunday, writes Dave Veysey.

Bodmin Boxing Club in Cornwall played host as 20 London champions descended on the West Country at the national quarter-final stage of the schoolboys’ championship.

On a tough day for the locals only four from the west emerged victorious from those 20 bouts, with one of those being Walcot’s McDonagh.

The 12-year-old’s Class A (32.5kgs) match with Rolfe was a terrific bout between two highly skilled operators.

The opening round was a close affair, as both lads settled in cautiously to the most important contest of their short careers.

Attack and counter-attack was the theme during the opening salvos, with honours about even at the first bell.

But during the second session McDonagh increased his workrate to open up with fast left jabs and straight rights.

His timing was immaculate as he scored repeatedly whilst avoiding the Londoner’s counter attacks.

The last round saw McDonagh continue his good work from the previous one, and he ran out a unanimous points winner.

He said after his victory: “I am really happy to have won my quarter final. Not many Western Counties boxers won against London today so that makes it even more special.

“I’m now looking forward to the semi final.”

There was disapppointment for clubmate Sammy Price, who lost his Class B (43kgs) contest with Alfie Mechegan from Newham Boxing Club.

Despite not feeling 100 per cent on the day, 14-year-old Price battled bravely for three rounds before losing on points.

Walcot chief coach Harry Scott summed up the day, saying: “Mikey boxed very well today and looked impressive.

“He was the only Western Counties lad to beat a Repton boxer, and they are probably the top club for schoolboys in the country. Mikey is a dedicated boxer and we hope he can go all the way.

“Sammy was not feeling absolutely fighting fit due to a slight illness earlier in the week, but did his best against a very experienced opponent.”

During the previous evening at a club event in Bournemouth, Walcot boxers Or Ges Peroshi and Sarkatt Aziz both lost controversially on points.

Western Counties Youth Champion Perosohi, 16, met Bill Harley from Dorset club Oakmead.

Despite apparently dominating proceedings for all three rounds, the Wroughton-based Albanian lost out to a split points decision.

Later on the bill the same fate also befell clubmate Aziz in his bout with Portland’s Colin Morris. The Walcot camp felt their man had done enough to clinch his first Walcot win, but it was the Dorset boxer’s arm that was raised by the referee.

Walcot coach Lionel McCrea was left fuming afterwards, saying: “I am not happy with the judging this evening – I feel both our boxers were the victims of ‘hometown decisions’.

“However these things sometimes happen in amateur boxing, and both lads have to put it behind them and carry on.’”