SOUTHAMPTON Solent University boxer Brandon Pauls insists he is full of confidence heading to the ABA Championship Finals after finishing top of the pile at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals.
The 20-year-old was in action at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge, going for gold in the men’s U75kg division, writes Chris Bailey.
Standing in his way was Cranfield University’s Yannick Foh, but not for long as Pauls forced his opponent’s corner to throw in the towel.
Pauls’ victory couldn’t be better timed with the ABA Championship Finals fast approaching in April. And the sports science and personal training student admits he is not done climbing the top step of the podium just yet as he looks to repeat the trick in just over a month’s time.
“I felt good going in. This is my new weight so I felt really strong,” Pauls said. “I’ve been working hard on my strength and conditioning and I hit him with some tough body shots that really rocked him I think.
“In the third his corner knew that I was landing clean shots and they saw enough and threw in the towel..
“I was the favourite going in and I prefer being the underdog so I was a little bit nervous going in.
“I want to go to the ABAs now and I want to prove myself. I can make that leap to professional but I want to do it the right way.
“I want to win the ABAs and get a good promoter like Frank Warren. “It’s all about doing your apprenticeship in the amateurs and figuring out how good you are and getting the basis and the platform for doing something good with your career.
“I’m only 20 so I’ve got a lot to learn but I’ve been boxing for ten years and all my skills are coming together a bit now.”
Despite getting Foh’s trainers to throw in the towel, Pauls didn’t have it all his own way in the Steel City as he was caught with a few early shots.
But he insists he knew he would see them out and claim victory after brushing off a few early hits.
“I got hit with a good shot in the first round but I recovered quickly and after that I think I got the better of him and I knew I’d get the win,” Pauls added.
“I went in there without a game plan really, I just wanted to get in there and go with the flow.
“He was a bit bigger than me so I tried to keep him on the outside a little bit and then just outwork him and catch him clean.”
Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration – visit: www.bucs.org.uk/gatorade