JACK Hillier made the semi-finals of the senior elite championships in Liverpool in the bantamweight division.

First up, the Southampton ABC fighter beat Connor Coghill (Hull Boxing Centre) in the quarter-final in a great contest which saw Hillier come out on top with a deserved split decision.

Coghill was a tricky southpaw with good movement but didn’t have the best of stamina and knowing that Hillier has a great engine the tactic was to stay on his opponent and force him to work hard.

Although Hillier had a few tricky problems Coghill started to tire by the end of the second round and the Southampton man completely dominated the third, dropping Coghill with a body shot and nearly forcing a stoppage.

In the semi-finals. Hillier was drawn against Great Britain number one seed Peter McGrail (Everton Red Triangle ABC).

McGrail has won 80 bouts, losing just eight and is on the GB podium which means he gets funded, so this was always going to be a mammoth task for Hillier.

McGrail also did not have to box the day before, but Hillier fought his heart out in a good contest.

His coach, Gary White, said: “Jack came out with a lot of plaudits and can hold his head up high in what was his first senior championships.

“McGrail was crowned ABA champion the next day without throwing a punch after his opponent pulled out injured, so Jack was the only lad he boxed to win it.

“It’s just a shame it wasn’t the final as the bout was worthy it.

“The good news is the GB coaches were impressed by Jack’s two performances and he’s been invited to Sheffield for a chance to get on the senior development squad which will help take him to the next level.”