England Boxing National Youth Championships 2019 – Finals Day report

February 25, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny


Dennis McCann won what many observers considered to be the bout of the day at the England Boxing National Youth Championships 2019 finals as he clinched a unanimous victory over Cameron Paul.

On a superb day of action at the Spiceball Leisure Centre in Banbury, the Repton teenager won the battle of the England team-mates with an impressive showing against his Pinewood opponent in the 49kg to 52kg Male Youth category.

Both boxers had previously won medals at European level and the bout had a vocal crowd on the edge of their seats throughout before McCann got the nod.

“It was down as a tough bout on paper, but I beat him a few years ago and I was confident that I was going to win again,” he said.

“I’m going back home now, I’ll have a week off and then I will get back into it straight away.”

Youth Olympic, World and European champion Caroline Dubois had been made to wait until the final day to box, having progressed straight to the final in the 57kg to 60kg Female Youth category.

But she quickly found her groove to come out on top by unanimous decision against Scunthorpe’s Wenessa Orczwk, though she was made to work for her victory.

Repton’s Dubois said: “It was my first bout since the Youth Olympic Games in October so I felt a little bit ring-rusty, but I was pleased to get it done.

“I knew that she was a decent boxer and would make we work for it – she didn’t come just to make up the numbers.

“It’s nice to box back in my own country and to win this national title and great to have my brother here watching (professional Daniel Dubois) as well because he hardly ever gets the chance to come and watch me box.”

Another World and European champion, Gemma Richardson, found things much easier in her 60kg to 64kg Female Youth category, cruising to her second stoppage win in as many days.

This time, Jessica Pattinson of Alnwick was the boxer to feel the Scunthorpe boxer’s power, who was just delighted to be boxing in a Championships she has always coveted winning, with this her fifth national title.

“I have loved every minute of this event,” she said. “I might have had the two stoppages, but I never really expected that. I always think the next person who I go in with is going to be the best I have ever boxed.

“The National Championships means everything to me because that’s the one you always want to win when you are a youngster growing up.

“Hopefully if I can keep winning, I will go to the Euros again and beyond that get on the GB team and one day go to the Olympics.”

Timperley’s Clark Smith, meanwhile, was thrilled to ‘double up’ following his National Cadet title win in 2018 with a 64kg to 69kg Male Youth triumph this time out.

He secured a unanimous decision against Trowbridge opponent Thomas Varey.

“It’s probably one of the best, if not the best, that I’ve had in terms of event wins,” said Smith.

“You do get the nerves come into it that make you question if you are going to win, but at the back of my mind I was confident and my coaches really helped me with the preparation.

“I think that final bout was my toughest bout to win the title because it was a really high tempo in the third round.”

Someone who is looking to follow in Smith’s footsteps next year is Ben Gidley, who took the 81kg to 86kg Male Cadet title with a victory over Ryan Butler of Tom Hill.

The Bakehouse boxer was too strong for his opponent in the latter stages of the contest, eventually forcing a stoppage.

He said: “I didn’t think I boxed at my best in this tournament, but I was very pleased with the result.

“I was really happy to win the final by a stoppage and now I hope I can stay undefeated and hopefully go on and step up from Cadet to Youth level to win there too.”

A day which saw 32 bouts in all began with a cracking bout between two England team-mates and friends in 46kg to 49kg Male Cadet category – Robert Dunn of Hendon and William Hewitt of Leigh ABC.

And it was the latter who came out on top after three frenetic rounds by winning a unanimous decision from the ringside judges.

“It pretty much went to plan for me in the final. It was a good performance against a good boxer who’s an England team-mate of mine,” said Hewitt.

“Overall, I’ve had two unanimous wins and one split, so it’s gone well. That’s my third national title now, so hopefully I can go on to get success at international level as well.”

For Repton, the day could not have gone much better. As well as McCann and Dubois’ victories, there were also successes for Robert Lacourt (49kg to 52kg Male Cadet) and Adan Mohammed (52kg to 56kg Male Youth) giving them four titles in all.

You can also view more pictures and videos from the day on England Boxing’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All pictures on this story by Andy Chubb.