New CI team stepping into the ring
Domestic boxing history will be made tonight as Guernsey and Jersey join forces in the first Channel Islands Select team.
Six Sarnians feature within a 14-strong side who will compete this evening at Liverpool’s Greenbank Sports Academy, taking on opposition from the Merseyside and Cheshire Amateur Boxing Association.
Commonwealth Games hopeful Tommy Teers is the headline name of the Sarnian entry, which is otherwise composed of boxers who have not yet fought at this level in the UK, namely Liam Duff, Emile Prevel, Ruslan Gogercaks, Finn Walsh and Tyler Quintal.
Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club head coach Ben Duff and Jersey Leonis’ Miguel Ferreira had pioneered the idea of this CI coalition.
‘We’ve decided to create a joint Channel Island team to provide more opportunities for boxers in both islands and give local boxers another level to aim for,’ Duff said.
‘We’re looking to work with Jersey more closely with organising training weekends, team matches and sharing ideas to improve standards and grow the sport.
‘In the coming months, we’re looking at a couple of more CI team events.’
Ferreira highlighted the challenges faced by island-based boxers.
‘It is quite tricky for Jersey and Guernsey to get away individually,’ the Jersey coach said.
‘We have some really talented boxers across the two islands, but they don’t get the same chances to compete as often as boxers on the mainland.
‘With a Channel Island team, we are able to pool together our best boxers and send an amalgamated group over to fight against clubs in the UK, which works far better logistically than if we are travelling separately.’
Up-and-coming competitor Quintal, who won the bout of the night at last week’s Dinner Boxing show, described the team trip as ‘good for both clubs’.
‘As long as we give a good account of ourselves, it’s a great experience moving forward for everyone,’ he said.
Quintal has contested three local shows in the amateurs, but he expects a different feel from fighting off-island.
‘The audience don’t know you, so it will probably be a more relaxed experience.
‘But it might be a walking into a lion’s den sort of thing.
‘Everyone’s ready, because we just had a show last week, and we’ve got another show at Beau Sejour later this month. We’re deep in the season now.’