One bout from glory: March Amateur Boxing Club star Smith, 12, eyes ABA title

UNBEATEN schoolboy boxing star Tony Smith is one bout away from becoming a national champion after he powered to a ninth consecutive victory.

March Amateur Boxing Club said goodbye to Upwell ace Charlie Stevens after he left to join a top London gym in December.

But Stevens was ringside at Feltham ABC on Saturday to watch the club’s next generation of talent take a step closer to glory.

Smith beat Earlsfield ABC’s Hanlon Crowley 12-6 on points to set up a clash with former minor champion Mark Dickinson, from Birtley ABC, in the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) Schoolboys Championship final tomorrow.

The 12-year-old said: “I’m really up for it. I know he is a decent boy but the plan is just to work harder than him.

“I hope I’ve got a future in boxing. I know it’s a long way off but I’d love to be able to make it.”

Smith, from Sawtry, who has won all nine of his career bouts, said he was enjoying his first season with March ABC.

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He said: “I really like March and Dave (Cole) is a great trainer. He puts me right on everything - what to eat, when to run. I really respect him.”

Coach Dave Cole said: “We have lost champions to other clubs but, with Tony getting to the final, it’s the start of the next crop of talent coming through.

“He’s got a lot of potential and a very good technique for a 12-year-old. He’s also got a big heart, that desire to win.”

Tony Smith Snr, the youngster’s father, said: “He had a lot of support over the weekend and really helps because the ring because it can be a lonely place. It’s not like football where you’ve got your whole team behind you.

“I’m more than proud. I can’t put it into words.”

Fellow March ABC star Regan Lazenby was forced to pull out of his semi-final with illness.