Batley boxing club's star in the making Callum Armstrong wins first area title
and live on Freeview channel 276
It could be the first of many crowns for a fighter rated an exciting prospect in what has become something of a hotbed of boxing, writes James Bovington.
"I started boxing almost accidentally,” explained Armstrong. “As a friend asked me to help at a show. I loved it so much I began boxing and have boxed ever since.
"Phil Walker trains me four days a week Monday to Thursday.
"Phil is a committed coach putting much of his own money into the club. Amateur boxing is all voluntary and no-one ever makes money out of it.
"Phil travels up and down the country week in week out for sparring or bouts and this is all in his own time.
"Although I live in Rothwell I wanted to stay with Phil as coach when he moved to Batley as I'm convinced I can reach a very high level in the sport with Phil as my coach.
"Being an England boxing member means I am a fully affiliated amateur boxer which means anything I do inside and outside of the ring must be done to England Boxing standards."
Armstrong continued: “I like everything about boxing. It's impacted my life in a positive way. There is nothing at all I dislike.
"I love the motivation of training for a bout. It is a hard-working environment with lots of good boxers and excellent coaches. We boxers all support each other inside and outside the gym and especially when we have matches.
“This is my second year boxing. I know I'm tough, but courage is the main quality needed by everyone who boxes.
"Sometimes punching an opponent hard needs courage as much as taking a punch bravely.
"My ambition for this season is to become a Yorkshire champion, a National Development champion and hopefully win a Box Cup tournament.
"In a couple of years when I'll have turned 18, I'll meet the standards to become a professional boxer and in the much longer term a champion.”
Armstrong's was one of 15 bouts on the Batley show organised by Phil Walker who is also Callum’s employer at Morley’s Yorkshire Carpets.
"Callum’s a hard worker both in boxing and selling. Our customers always say what a bright and polite young man he is,” said Walker.
"Of course he’s also got the potential to be a skilful, talented boxer.”