Cleary: England next for Finch after Midlands title

Boxers at Cleary's Gym, including Jake Finch (middle row, second right).
Boxers at Cleary's Gym, including Jake Finch (middle row, second right).

Coach Edwin Cleary has tipped Jake Finch to be his gym’s next England star after the youngster beat Ibraheem Sulaimaan (Eastside ABC) on Sunday to lands the Midlands Elite Youth title.

In a confident display, Finch stayed composed throughout, boxing off his jab against the highly rated Sulaimaan, himself an England boxer.

And Cleary revealed that a semi-final spying mission helped Finch get the better of the Eastside fighter.

“We saw a few flaws we could expose,” said Cleary.

“We knew with our gameplan that there was a very good chance Jake could beat him.

“Jake’s only had 12 contests but has boxed some top lads in his short career, three of which were also boxing in Sunday’s finals - that’s a testament to Jake’s ability as a novice.

“With Jake he trains hard and is pushed hard.

“We haven’t hand-picked his opponents, sometimes giving away weight or experience.

“We believe Jake will very soon be on the England programme and eventually box for his country.

“He is destined go to all the way to the very top.

“He has all the attributes needed to become the best and he’s an absolute joy to coach.”

Two coaches from England Boxing’s Talent Pathway programme were able to see first-hand the ability on show at Cleary’s recently, with Mick Driscoll and Ben Stewart dropping into the Wise Street gym.

“It was a chance for the boxers to showcase themselves and let’s just say there was two or three that really stood out,” added Cleary.