England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019 – Female Under 48kg Class A preview
May 17, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Ahead of tomorrow’s England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019 semi-finals, we look at the final four in the Female Under 48 Class A division.
Alice Pumphrey has given up her chance of making it as a footballer with Manchester United to become a boxer – and is loving every minute of it as she goes for glory at the England Boxing National Schools Championship 2019.
The Blackpool youngster, from the town’s Sharpstyle club, was on the books or the Old Trafford club and considered a real prospect as a central defender of left winger.
But 12 months after first trying boxing, the North West region boxer is now focused on her efforts in the ring as she prepares for the semi-finals at Crawley’s K2 this weekend.
“She’s got real potential as a boxer and is a very talented all-round sportswoman,” said coach Andy Abrol. “She completed a one-year contract at United and they wanted to keep her, but she just fell in love with boxing, so quit to put all her time into it.
“At first we didn’t want her to give it up to come along to the gym – we didn’t want her to throw away that chance – but she loved it so much and just kept coming back.
“She’s hard-hitting, but also a lovely little boxer as well – she’s got it all. She’s won four and lost one bout, but we felt she’d done enough to win that one too.
“Alice has proven her pedigree by boxing in Ireland and we’ve got high hopes for her. As the only girl in our gym she’s been sparring with the boys and against those older than her, so it will help when she is matched at her own age against other girls.”
Representing Merseyside and Cheshire in Sussex will be Mayah Tai (pictured above, right) of Huyton ABC, who has been boxing for three years, reaching the semis of this Championships last year.
But after making good progress this year – which has brought her a call-up to the recent all-female Aspire programme in Sheffield – coach Andy Robinson is hoping she can use her past experience to good effect this time.
He said: “She has come on every year she’s been boxing and going to the camp at the English Institute of Sport has given her an extra boost ahead of this Championships.
“Attending the gym has helped her in a lot of ways, including her progress at school, and we are hoping she can do well at the weekend.
“She’s really excited about competing and confident going into it. Last year should help her and she’s used the disappointment she felt to move forward.”
Wearing the colours of Midlands club Warley ABC will be Tayla Spooner (pictured above), a boxer who likes to box on the front foot.
Hailing from Rowley Regis, where the club is based, coach Richard Heritage has been pleased with her preparations.
“She’s not been frightened to get in with the lads, which helps as its limited as to the girls she can train with,” he said.
“Although she will be nervous about competing, once she gets into the ring, she is fine and really enjoys it.
“Her style is that she likes to get involved, but she’s also now learning when to attack and that you can’t go jumping in all the time. She’s improving all the time.”
The fourth of the semi-final quartet is Newark ABC’s Lauren Workman (pictured above), who will be one of three from her club making the trip down south for the Championship.
The East Midlands boxer will be joined by Chloe Davis and Sam Hardy, a winner last year, as the Nottinghamshire club bid to make it a hat-trick of successes.
“Of the three travelling to Crawley, Lauren is the one who has the least amount of expectation on her because she is still relatively inexperienced, but her preparation has been good and her confidence is growing all the time.
“She’s quite a technical boxer. She can take control or box off the back foot when needed, she works hard, gets her shots off well and is very responsive to what the coaches tell her.
“We have seen her strength of character in that she lost her first two bouts, the second on a split, and then has come back strongly to win her last two, so she’s on the up.
“It’s great for her to be part of a nationals with her two team-mates and I think she will learn a lot from it.”
A key information circular has now been issued for the England Boxing National Schools Championships 2019, and you can access it by clicking here.
Spectator tickets are available on the day, priced £20 adults, £10 concessions (65+) and £5 children (6 to 15-year-olds). Under 5s are free.
Boxing starts at 1pm on Saturday (12 noon doors) and at 12noon on Sunday (11am doors).
Don’t forget, you can keep up to date with the latest on the competition by following us across social media via the hashtag #EBNSC19