England Boxing National Youth Championships 2019 – Sloan’s stepping stone to Europeans
February 25, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Salisbury ABC’s Reece Sloan is determined to clinch a fourth national title this weekend in what he hopes will be the first step on the road to EUBC European Youth Championships glory.
The 17-year-old travels to the Spiceball Leisure Centre, Banbury for the England Boxing National Youth Championships 2019 to take on Hunzla Hamza of Jewellery Quarter Boxing Club in the final.
Merseyside and Cheshire boxer Sloan claimed the national belt at the same under-91kg weight category last year with victory over South Durham’s Clyde Best – despite being eligible to box in the Youth Cadet section.
And while he is confident of successfully retaining his rank as the best in the country at his age and weight – and underline his England credentials as a result – he will be taking nothing for granted in Oxfordshire.
“My main aim this year is to medal at the Europeans, but first I need to win the English title to put myself in with a good chance of getting on the England team for that competition, so I’m not looking past that,” he said.
“I beat Hunzla last year, so I know I can do it against him, plus I’m also bigger and stronger than I was then.
“I’ve been training hard – I’m training six nights a week and three times a day. I’ve finished studying for the moment, so it’s all about the boxing.
“I feel I’m twice as good as last year, and hopefully I can show that when the bell sounds.”
Sloan’s European Youth Championships appearance in Italy last April saw him one of 14 England representatives, and the team collected six medals between them.
The Solly boxer’s campaign ended when he was beaten by Ukranian Marat Hryhorian, who was two years his senior, but it was nevertheless a valuable experience for the then 16-year-old.
He said: “I learned a lot from that. Apart from anything else, it was good to see what level you needed to be at to compete with some of the best in the world.
“You saw how they performed and how consistent they were day in, day out. I didn’t think I was that far off the standard needed to win a medal, but I didn’t have the same strength and I was less experienced. I feel I can make up the difference this year if I get the chance to box.
“The other thing that was great was seeing how well some of our other boxers did and being part of an England team, representing your country.”
Sloan’s focus in his Liverpool gym in the lead up to the Youths has been two fold: to work on his physical strength and to be more relaxed.
“I’m been working on being less tense and stiff in the ring, which will help me deliver my shots a little bit better,” he said.
“I feel it’s been working and helping me box smarter, so I’m looking forward to competing now.”
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