Wigan junior boxers aiming for the top prizes at the National Junior Championships
A pair of junior boxers from Wigan will compete for a national prize this weekend.
Jack Doran, 16, and James Gleeson, 14, have both progressed to the semi-finals/finals stage of the England Boxing National Junior Championships in Guildford.
The fighters have been crowned North West Champions for their respective age groups, with Jack’s dad Barrie proud of what they are achieving and how they are improving.
He said: “It’s been a long time coming, both have been trying for a while. It’s the first time they’ve got through the regional North West winner and then they boxed in Doncaster against the Yorkshire champs.
“Jack boxed in Leicester last week, but James got a bye to the semis because his opponent didn’t make the weight.
“I’m really confident, I think both of them will do well but you never know in the nationals because you’ve come up against the names. You just got to do your stuff, and if it’s good enough then it is good enough.”
Barrie says boxing has been a long-term passion and aim for both of the boys since a young age.
For Jack in particular, being in the ring has become one of his main passions, and has given up playing over sports in order to pursue his dream.
Meanwhile, James has also continued to play rugby league alongside his boxing training.
“They’ve both been boxing since they were nine-years-old,” Barrie added.
"It’s been a long journey but something has clicked with both of them, they’re up for it. It’s brilliant to watch them. After all these years it’s getting better ringside.
“Jack has been playing football and rugby since he was young, but quit both of them last year to concentrate on boxing, but James is still playing for St Judes.
“If they win these then they will get invited to train with England and you never know after that, it could be the Olympics with a bit of luck. You’ve got to take it one fight at a time, but all the famous professionals have won the ABA’s so you’ve got to start somewhere.”