Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jamie Arthur says that his amateur boxing club is thriving after he entered 12 of his boxers in to this year’s Welsh ABA Novice Championships.
The only other club to enter as many boxers was the established and hugely successful Splott ABC, Arthur insists that the size of his Arthur’s ABC’s squad in just its second season is testament to the hard work of his coaches and support from the community.
He said, “We’ve got boxers bursting out of our building every evening and we’re just as busy as any other club in Wales. When we started, we started from literally scratch and now we’re producing boxers left, right and centre. Not just as they boxers, they are well disciplined and respectful young people.”
“There are social reasons why youngsters are so energetic in this area and I’m lucky to have a good team of coaches to help me channel that energy. The local community show a lot of support and that’s what we do around here, we make the best of what we have.”
In its first year, Pontypridd based Arthur’s Gym saw immediate achievement with three boxers reaching the Welsh ABA Novice Championships finals. Light-heavyweight Sparky Price and bantamweight Robbie Evans won their finals, Arthur says it inspired their gym-mates and he expects more to follow in their footsteps this year.
He said, “The boys give the gym and all of our boxers a real confidence boost last year, I honestly think that we can get a few more titles this year and that’s what we’ve been working towards. We go in to win every bout with every boxer but whether we win or lose, I’ll make sure the boxers learn the lessons that they need to improve and develop in the long term.”
Arthur enjoyed a successful amateur career which included numerous Welsh titles and international acclaim. With 12 years of experience in all levels of amateur boxing, Arthur believes that the nurture and education boxers receive in their novice years is the most important of their career.
He said, “It’s essential that any boxer is taught the basics well and that has to be the first part of their education. It’s not just the boxing; they have to learn about nutrition, healthy living and safe weight making.
“We have a lot of boxers here and many of them are in the novice stage, this is where we must give them a good grounding in what boxing is all about because these lessons will stay with them for the rest of their time in boxing.”