WATERSIDE Boxing Club has a new national champion in Jack McLoughlin.

The 14 year-old improved on last year’s quarter-final place by going all the way to the Junior Cadets final (in the 40/42kg class for males born in 2003) in Rotherham.

He went straight to work behind the jab and got stronger each round before winning the final on a split decision over the talented K. Salem from Kirkdale ABC, Liverpool.

“It was a great moment for Jack and Waterside ABC when the referee raised his hand as national champion,” said coach Stuart Pidgley

Jack, who has been boxing for five years, won his semi-final against Billy Hope of Wearmouth ABC, Sunderland

“He soon overcame his nerves and boxed behind the jab and off his front foot throughout the bout,” said coach Andrew Davis, who raised Jack’s hand as a unanimous winner

Pidgley said: “We knew Billy Hope was going to be a tough challenge for Jack having won 16 of his 18 bouts.

“But Jack’s work rate and aggression was just too much for Hope to cope with.

“Going into the final was a dream come true for Jack and he was confident of coming home a national champion.

“After winning his semi-final Jack told the Waterside ABC coaches not to be nervous and that he was ‘going to win’.”

Jack is now on the England talent pathway with Waterside’s two-time national finalist Kieran Oakley, who reached the Junior ABA’s semi final this time.

The 15 year-old boxed in the 48/50kg class for males born in 2002, which is also open to all the best boxers in England.

He has been boxing at Waterside ABC since he was ten and has won 17 out of his 21 bouts in reaching two national finals and a box cup gold in the last three years.

Unfortunately he lost to European Champion Sahil Khan from Merryville ABC in Staffordshire, in the last four.

Waterside coach Andrew Davis knew Kieran, who had a hard task ahead of him against Khan, a European champion who has won 31 of his 35 bouts.

Davis said: “We had Kieran just winning the first round but he fell just short after Khan started strong in the second and third round.”

Coach Stuart Pidgley said: “Although Kieran was disappointed to not reach another final he realises that it was a great learning curve for him against a boxer as talented as Sahil Khan.

“All the coaches and everyone at Waterside ABC are very proud of him for getting as far as the semi-final.”

Waterside ABC coach George Pidgley, who has been coaching for over 30 years, said: “It’s been one of his most successful seasons Waterside ABC has had in amateur boxing, with a national champion and both boxers at England camp.

“The success of the two boxers has given the gym a real boost.”

Jack and Kieran are now looking forward to the CYP championships in November.

Waterside ABC train at Jubilee Hall, Fawley, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening.