Billy Underwood admits winning a silver medal at last weekend’s Haringey Box Cup ranks as the proudest moment of his career so far.
Underwood, who fights out of Lion ABC in Hoxton, also believes that he now has the measure of the European amateur circuit, and hopes to return next year to take the gold.
After beating Downend Police ABC’s Martin Pirret in the semi-final of the under 69 kg, the 17-year-old progressed to the final against Patrick Allen-Cripps from Harwich where he unfortunately lost a close bout.
However the Islington youngster is elated with the accolade, and is confident that he can now hold his own with the best.
He said: ‘It’s my first piece of silverware as a boxer, and I still have the same smile on my face this morning as I had on Sunday when I was awarded it.
‘My trainers set me up brilliantly coming into the tournament and they’d put together a plan which we knew would get us to the final, at the very least.
‘I’d been in some competitions before which have tested me, and sparred with some top opponents. But this was the main event.
‘I’ve no doubt that fighting against some of the best prospects in the country and across Europe will prove to be an invaluable experience for me as I move forward.
‘Of course I would’ve liked to win a gold, but it’s only made me more determined to come back and succeed next year.’
With the domestic season now over, Underwood will return to his gym and work with his coaches over the summer to prepare for the upcoming term.
With aspirations of eventually competing professionally, the Lion ABC prospect is hoping for a strong campaign to add to his 13 victories from last year.
And with the stablemate Louis Isaacs also returning home on the weekend with a silver medal, Underwood has thanked father-son training duo Steve and Stevie Walters for their efforts, and believes that he will fulfil his ambition under them.
He added: ‘For two fighters, particularly ones with not a great deal of experience in the competition, to go as far as we did and win silvers each is testament to the hours which Steve and Stevie put into us.
‘There were some big names on the list coming into the tournament, so we knew it would provide the perfect test for us.
‘We were both interested in watching how the other guys trained and looked after themselves. Obviously they’ve been in that environment a bit longer than we have, but what encouraged us was that we could see that we wasn’t that far away from them. And again, that can only be put down to the team for getting us there.’
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