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Eastgate Boxing Club enjoy first ever male national champion in Jack Williams



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Head coach Dale Roberston has no doubt Jack Williams has what it takes to make a success of turning professional after watching him become Eastgate Amateur Boxing Club’s first ever male national champion.

The 24-year-old boxer claimed the gold medal for the Rougham-based club from the weekend’s final in Banbury having not dropped a single round in the England Boxing Development Championships in the Senior Class A Under-52kg category (less than 10 competitive fights).

He controlled all three rounds to claim a unanimous decision from the judges at the Spiceball Leisure Centre against opponent Sabber Sulayman from Wednesbury-based club Wodensborough.

Eastgate ABC's Jack Williams is announced as the winner of the England Boxing Development Championships in the Senior Class A Under-52kg category Picture: Andy Chubb/England Boxing (20391082)
Eastgate ABC's Jack Williams is announced as the winner of the England Boxing Development Championships in the Senior Class A Under-52kg category Picture: Andy Chubb/England Boxing (20391082)

It ended a wait of 38 years – since Eastgate was formed in 1981 as a Bury St Edmunds-based club – for a national male champion, having seen Chloe Hunt become a female winner in 2016. And Robertson believes it will be far from the pinnacle of his time in the ring for his former Hardwick Primary School pupil.

“Jack has only been with us just over a year,” he said, “but there is no doubt he is good enough to (go professional).

“I would like to turn him over (go professional) in a year.

Jack Williams (right) of Eastgate ABC in action in the England Boxing Development Championships in the Senior Class A Under-52kg final in Banbury Picture: Andy Chubb/England Boxing (20391090)
Jack Williams (right) of Eastgate ABC in action in the England Boxing Development Championships in the Senior Class A Under-52kg final in Banbury Picture: Andy Chubb/England Boxing (20391090)

“He has boxed twice to get to the final and won every round in every fight.”

Williams is now based in Ipswich but decided, with his brother Jordan, that he wanted to box for his former hometown club and he took his medal down to the gym in Rougham this week.

The significance of it all has not been lost on Robertson, who has been with the club for the last two decades.

Jack Williams, Eastgate ABC's first national men's title winner, alongside (from left) brother Jordan, head coach Dale Robertson and chairman/coach Mick Bryant. Williams won the England Boxing Development Championships Senior Class A Under-52kg category in Banbury (20327838)
Jack Williams, Eastgate ABC's first national men's title winner, alongside (from left) brother Jordan, head coach Dale Robertson and chairman/coach Mick Bryant. Williams won the England Boxing Development Championships Senior Class A Under-52kg category in Banbury (20327838)

“It was an amazing feeling to watch him win it,” he said.

“This is a major stepping stone for the club as when someone wins something it brings all the others in the gym up and gives them something to emulate.”

Williams said it shows what hard work and belief can achieve.

“I have always believed in myself and when I was two fights down (into the final) I booked to go to Marbella on MTK Global’s Champs Camp as I believe in myself and want to get my name out there and spa with some of the professionals.”

A former open European champion in kickboxing, Williams, who said he has always boxed on and off through his life, though not competitively, sees going to Spain on the world-renowned management company’s camp as the next step to achieving his professional dream.

Should he go pro, he would follow in the footsteps of former Eastgate members Waynes Asker and Stephen Mallett.

Meanwhile, Tommy Flack lost in his Junior Class B Under-57kg final in the same competition in Banbury against Tom Jones from Midlands-based Lions in a unanimous decision.

Robertson said: “Tommy boxed four rounds and did very well to beat some good boys in the championship and just fell at the last hurdle.

“It was a good experience for him.”

He added: “It was the first time we have had two in the finals in the club’s history.

“I am very proud of both lads and both have very big futures in boxing.”

Eastage’s Josh Kozak will be boxing for the club tonight in Peterborough.

“I am very happy with what I have done,” he said.