Fitzpatrick’s rising talent Priya Virk had the honour of opening the show at the England Boxing Winter Box Cup at Guildford Spectrum Leisure, writes Paul Okey.
The first of more than 120-plus bouts live on the BBC, the 16-year-old’s first ever tournament experience was made even more daunting when she was drawn against Belevedere Boxing Club’s National Development champion Hayley Riddle.
In a bout that set the standard for an excellent championships, the young Fitzpatrick’s boxer, boxing as representative of the Midlands FLAG (Fight Like a Girl ) squad missed out on the decision.
However, she pushed Riddle all the way and looked at home sharing the ring with a national champion.
Virk could take further heart from Riddle going on to not only win gold but take the award as the tournament’s outstanding young prospect,
Head FLAG coach Matt Pickering was full of praise for Virk, saying: “For a young boxer like Priya to step up to the championship ring versus the national champion and put in a performance like that is credit to the work she and her coaches are doing and the value of the FLAG squad.”
A delighted coach Derek Fitzpatrick said the experience Virk has gained from being among such exalted company will serve her well going forward.
He said: “What a experience for Priya, boxing in a team captained by England boxing star Paige Goodyear and Tri-nations, Haringey Box Cup and Winter Box Cup gold medallist Miriam Zouhou and a solid team of boxers.”
Although she missed out on a medal, Virk did earn an invitation to the European Golden Girls boxing tournament in Sweden in late January.