LEWIS Williams took another step up the boxing career ladder after being selected to represent England at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Russia next month.
After impressing the selectors at an assessment camp which took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield over the weekend, Williams will now represent his country for the first time in the 91kg category.
It has been a remarkable rise for 18-year-old boxer Williams who joined Clearys Amatuer Boxing Gym just three years ago and since then he has gone from a rooky to representing England and a training camp with Great Britain also looms for the Leamington teenager.
“This has got to be one of the biggest local achievements in boxing and we’re all so proud of Lewis,” said coach Edwin Cleary.
“I thought he was ready to represent England at the European Championships but that assessment was over one day so perhaps he didn’t have a chance to shine.
“This time around he’s impressed over three days and he’s had a chance to show the selectors what he’s all about.
“He’s done this all himself. He’s lost half a stone while on England assessment. It’s been gruelling and tiring training hard three times a day for up to two-and-a-half hours but it’s all paid off.”
Williams, who lives in Whitnash, was selected as one of eight boxers for the England team, while five others wait in reserve.
All 13 will attend a series of preparation camps led by England coach Paul Bennet, including a ten-day trip to Ireland, to make sure they are in the best condition possible for the World Championships which take place at St. Petersburg’s Sibur Arena from November 14-27.
England coach Paul Bennett said: “There were several tough decisions we had to make, but it shows the level of talent we have in England now and the team selected are a fantastic group of boxers and will do England proud.”
Williams, who won the heavyweight title at the prestigious Haringey Cup in London earlier this year, is a popular figure at Clearys ABC.
He is backed by The Vitamin Shop in Clement Street as well as Rowleys Butchers in Warwick but his recent rise to national selection and beyond has not gone to his head, and coach Edwin is confident he can do the club and Leamington proud in Russia.
He added: “The selectors must be confident that he will medal or else they wouldn’t have selected him because they’re jobs could be on the line if England underperform.
“Right now I believe I’ve got the best young heavyweight boxer in the world. I’ve been involved in boxing at this level for 20 years and all I can say is how good he is in the gymn
“He’s got power, technique, dedication and the right attitude – it’s all about how he handles of the occasion because he’s an outstanding boxer.
“He’s come a long way and I think he’ll rise to it. Meeting up with the squad at the training camps, flying out there and fighting in a different country for England should inspire him.
“Lewis is getting a lot of stick in the gym. Some of the boxers are calling him ‘Mr GB’ and others are telling him ‘you’ve changed’. When I told everyone about his England call-up everyone at the gymn was happy for him and shook his hand.
“We’ve got three boxers involved at England level now. Success breeds success and Williams is doing his best to raise the profile of boxing in the area.”