WYCOMBE could be witnessing the emergence of its first Olympic boxer, according to coach John MacInnes.
Ben Smith became the first boxer from Wycombe Boxing Club to represent England in a recent international against Ireland, and despite a defeat to Irish champion Kallum McCoonville, MacInnes predicted great things for the Bucks 15-year old.
He said: “It was a very proud moment for me to watch Ben box for England. He has come a very long way from the 11-year-old that walked into our club.
“Ben has raised the bar and I have seen the impact it has had with his club mates.
“If he keeps working hard and stays focused we may have a future Olympian in our ranks.”
Smith’s international debut came in a 19-bout show against Ireland in Cork, but he couldn’t have got a tougher draw against McCoonville.
The pair shared a tight opening round 2-2, before the home boxer edged in front by winning the second round 4-3. Smith came out all guns blazing in the third and final round,but it wasn’t quite enough as he went down 7-5 overall.
MacInnes said: “This year has been the best year in our club’s short history, with Courtney Frimpong reaching a national semi final and the emergence of 12-year-old Jamal Khan – who has won nine of ten bouts and avenged his only defeat by beating the lad twice since.
“But the highlight has been Ben’s international call up and watching him perform at the highest level.”