CLEARY’S boxer Lewis Williams battled on to the final of the EUBC Under 22 European Boxing Championships in Russia on Sunday, but was unable to shake a virus as he pulled out after the first round.
It was a bitterly disappointing way to end what had been an impressive week in Vladikavkaz in Western Russia, winning three fights en route to the finals in tremendous fashion.
The 20-year old opened the Championships with a win on points against Robert Marton from Ukraine, before winning by unanimous decision against Slovakian boxer David Michalek to advance to the semi-finals.
His strong performance was epitomised by the dominance he enjoyed with his jab, stepping up the pressure on his opponent in round 2, before unleashing a combo that forced the referee to take a standing count.
With the Slovakian holding firm and content with accepting the loss on points, Williams met Georgian southpaw Nikolos Begadze in the semi-finals – his opponent standinga at six foot, four inches tall.
A fantastic performance from the Leamington fighter resulted in another unanimous decision win to place Williams in the final against Russian Vladislav Ivanov.
He was ordered to rest to shake off the illness that he had picked up, but it was clear that his performance had been affected after the first round – with the speed and movement not up to the usual standard.
Team GB withdrew Lewis from fighting, the right call albeit a frustrating one for Williams.
Still taking home a silver medal for his efforts, his age means he is legible to challenge for the title next year.
In more positive news for the boxer, it has been announced that he has been awarded the number one seed for the Elite ABA finals, joined by fellow Cleary’s fighters Danny Quatermaine and Jake Finch.