Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rob Has the Golden Touch

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rob Has the Golden Touch

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Steel

King of the ring! That's Redcar ABC's Robert Walker.

The 13-year-old beat Tyson Prince to become a national Golden Gloves title winner.

Rob claimed the Class Two schoolboy crown at Knottingley thanks to a 2-1 win over his Stevenage rival.

Proud Redcar coach Frankie Wales said the 38kg victory was just reward for hours of sweat and slog in the gym.

"Rob boxed lovely," said Wales. "We've been working on his counter punching and blocking everything - the art of hitting without being hit.

"He got it off to a fine art on the day and dominated a rangy lad."

Wales said victory was made even more special considering the Sacred Heart school pupil considered quitting the sport earlier this season.

"Rob had two defeats on the trot and lost to an older lad from Ireland on South Bank's show last November," he added.

"I think he was all for wrapping in and got a little bit disheartened.

"But he's kept working really hard - it's really pleasing that it has all paid off."

Walker has now won eight of his 11 bouts and is the second national champion from Redcar in two years.

Light heavyweight John Watson won the 2005 Class A novices crown, also in Knottingley.

Rob's big win came at an unfortunate price, however.

His gloves, headguard and boots, worth a combined pounds 150, were stolen as thieves struck several times on the day.

EAST Cleveland ABC were the only other Teesside club represented in the Golden Gloves finals and were left frustrated.

Louis Bunney lost 5-2 to Charles Driscoll (West Ham) in the Class 1, 30kg box-off, when a warning proved costly.

"The referee gave the lad the contest, rather than the other kid winning it," said East Cleveland trainer Jason Jones.

"Louis was 2-0 up after the first round and doing great. He got a harsh warning for holding in the third, while the other kid got away with constant slapping and going in with his head.

"But at the end of the day I'm proud of Louis, he's only 12 but handled the big occasion and can hold his head high. …

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