Guernsey Press

‘Flat’ Le Poullain beaten in Nationals

Billy Le Poullain is determined to bounce back from a surprising and humbling defeat at the weekend.

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Billy Le Poullain suffered a surprise defeat in the quarter-finals of the National Amateur Championships.

After building up great momentum over the last six months and entering the National Amateur Championships as top seed in the elite 71kg competition, the Bailiwick star suffered the unexpected setback of being outpointed in his quarter-final.

Rotunda Amalgamated Boxing Club’s Ivan Duniak edged a 3-2 split decision in East London on Saturday to blow his chances at surpassing last year’s milestone national silver.

‘I did not turn up on the day,’ a disappointed Le Poullain said.

‘You get football teams that sometimes just do not turn up and you can’t explain why they have not shown up, because they have been in good form.

‘I know I felt bad warming up – psychologically I felt a bit flat.

‘I would not take anything away from him as he boxed superbly, but I thought I had the beating and had I gone in feeling 110%, I think I could have beaten him pretty convincingly.’

Le Poullain had come through the first round feeling his opponent had landed more shots, but he had hit the bigger ones. It was all to fight for.

From there, he believes he gave a lot away in the second round but won the third convincingly.

Had being top seed played with his mind? The Commonwealth Games man suggests so.

‘I had too high an expectation of myself,’ he said.

‘It’s about bouncing back from the defeat. I am glad I’ve had a setback now, because it’s going to give me more motivation.

‘If it had been plain sailing all the way up to the Commonwealth Games [in July and August], I might have gone in a bit overconfident.’

The defeat may also spell the end of his brief campaign – or ‘trial run’ as he puts it – at 71kg.

Despite winning on his England debut, three successful Great Britain assessments and achieving a fifth Western Counties title in this class, he is now eyeing a return to the middleweights (75kg).

‘My performances were better at 75kg,’ he said.

‘I felt I was stronger, my body responded better to training and my recovery was a bit better.’

The ever-ambitious Le Poullain, as always, remains highly grateful for the Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club’s constant support.

This follows clubmate Tommy Teers missing his intended NAC elite debut due to a nasty eye infection.

Both are now targeting the three-day Haringey Box Cup, which bills itself as ‘Europe’s largest amateur boxing event’, from 17-19 June.