Home   Haverhill   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Chalkstone Amateur Boxing Club coach Wayne Pilgrim believes Taylor McAllister and Mackenzie Akehurst ‘could go places’ after bouts in Ongar, Essex





Chalkstone Amateur Boxing Club coach Wayne Pilgrim believes Taylor McAllister and Mackenzie Akehurst ‘could go places’ after both boxers won bouts in Ongar, Essex on February 3.

The former, who weighed in at 56.5kg, defeated someone who he had previously fought in a skills bout, but the 15-year-old won by unanimous decision after three rounds to take his record to 3-1.

“Taylor is ultra-fit. We knew he would be a lot fitter (than his opponent),” said Pilgrim, who has been coaching the pair for the last two years.

(From left) Daniel Pepper, Bray Holder (front), Wayne Pilgrim (behind, coach), Mackenzie Akehurst, Taylor McAllister, Terry Unwin (coach) Kieran Frost and Ethan Van Brown celebrate the pair's victory Picture: Chalkstone Amateur Boxing Club
(From left) Daniel Pepper, Bray Holder (front), Wayne Pilgrim (behind, coach), Mackenzie Akehurst, Taylor McAllister, Terry Unwin (coach) Kieran Frost and Ethan Van Brown celebrate the pair's victory Picture: Chalkstone Amateur Boxing Club

“We knew he’d be technically be better, we just had to develop a bit of hand speed for him, a little bit of power and that completely changed everything. He was absolutely brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Akehurst’s bout in Ongar marked his return after 18 months out with a knee injury.

The 16-year-old has been restricted in the training he can do and was not 100 per cent fit when he fought. However, despite these issues, the 49kg boxer also came away with a victory via unanimous decision, to take his record to 1-2.

Taylor McAllister and Mackenzie Akehurst celebrate their bout victories Picture: Chalkstone Amateur Boxing Club
Taylor McAllister and Mackenzie Akehurst celebrate their bout victories Picture: Chalkstone Amateur Boxing Club

“All credit to the lad because he pulled off a masterclass,” said Pilgrim.

“The lad is all smiles, he can’t keep the smile off his face. Even at the gym now, people who haven’t seen him are coming in going ‘well done Mackenzie’ and he loves it. It’s good to see him back.

“It was first class, absolutely first class. We know that they’ve both got a lot of speed in their hands and they’re very good technically with their feet. We implemented that into the gameplan, he became far too fast, created far too many angles and they couldn’t really handle them. It was fantastic.

“These two in particular, and we have four or five who could progress into the pro-ranks, have got it. As long as they keep their feet on the ground and keep training, they could go places without a shadow of a doubt. I have absolute confidence in the pair of them.”

The pair box at least four times a week and are preparing to fight at the National Junior Championships in Hayes on March 3.