Williams loses out in final but gains new admirers

Lewis Williams in action against Rob Squires in Rotherham.
Lewis Williams in action against Rob Squires in Rotherham.

Cleary’s boxer Lewis Williams failed to impress two of the three judges at the England Boxing Youth Championship finals at Magna, Rotherham, on Sunday.

However, the heavyweight can take plenty of consolation from catching the eye of the England selectors in defeat to Barnstaple’s Rob Squires.

After a laidback semi-final win on Saturday which ended with a third round knockout against Robert Davis (Stainforth ABC), Williams produced an impressive boxing display against Squires the following day in their 91kg contest.

Squires started the quicker but Williams was into his stride by the second round, with his opponent repeatedly warned for low blows.

The Leamington boxer was up on his toes in the final round, showing good movement and working off his jab to dominate the round.

But despite Williams appearing to have won the contest, Squires’ hand was raised after a split decision.

“As the bell went I really believed Lewis had won but was baffled when they raised Squires’ hand,” said his coach Edwin Cleary.

“Looking in the ring, and after, Squires had the look of a beaten man.”

However, any disappointment quickly subsided when Williams was approached by two England selectors.

“They had been watching Lewis over the last two days,” continued Cleary. “And they said they can see he’s got a boxing brain. They said they were shocked (with the decision) as it wasn’t even close.

“For 20 minutes or so after the show they really showed their interest. They have a plan for Lewis for the next 12 months and they want Lewis to go up to Sheffield ASAP.

“They also mentioned he’s there at the right time with the Olympics in four years.

“As a coach I can’t get the smile off my face.”

Meanwhile, tables of eight are still available for Cleary’s’ senior dinner show on Saturday March 12.

The evening, which features a curry meal, takes place at Trident College in Warwick.

For tickets, call 07581 506820.