Hazelwood vows to come back stronger after a nervy show

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He may have let the nerves get the better of him at this year’s BUCS Nationals but Leamington silver-medal winning boxer Mike Hazelwood insists his Sheffield experience will only make him stronger in the long run.

Hazelwood got the chance to strut his stuff in the ring at Ponds Forge on Friday as part of the UK’s biggest annual multi-sport event.

Going up against Leeds Beckett University’s Mali Wright in the final of the men’s open 75-81kg category, the 21-year-old gave a good account of himself but was ultimately undone by the superior boxing prowess of his opponent.

Wright was eventually handed the title on a unanimous decision, with Hazelwood, who was fighting for the University of Nottingham, having to settle for silver.

But the Clearys Boxing Gym member is adamant he will bounce back strongly, with his love for the sport driving him on.

“Boxing is everything. It’s an outlet for me. Every day I wake up, I go to the gym, and all I want to do is go training, and compete at the highest level,” said Hazelwood.

“It’s all about experience and with every fight I’m learning what to do in each situation.

“He was too strong for me in the end. Nerves got the better of me and I didn’t go with the game plan.

“I’d need a bit more training to beat him. It’s my first time at this level though and I gave 100 per cent. I went down but I came back and I’ll come back strong in the future.

“I really enjoyed competing at BUCS, it was a great experience and a lot of fun to see all the different universities.”

Edwin Cleary of Clearys Boxing Gym described the bout as very close and that a rematch would be one of the 14 bouts on the card at the Cleary’s show on March 14 at Leamington Assembly.

Tickets for the event are £11. See next week’s Courier for more details.

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for Higher Education sport in the UK, representing 170 institutions and facilitating 52 sport programmes. BUCS has been shortlisted for Governing Body of the Year at the BT Sports Industry Awards 2015 and is supported by Deloitte www.bucs.org.uk.