BOXING: Doddington boxer Billy, 15, punches to success on the national stage

PUBLISHED: 10:06 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 24 March 2020

Billy Baxter (centre) with coaches Akif Shirazi (left) and Chris Baker (right) after winning at the national junior championships. Picture: AKIF SHIRAZI

Billy Baxter (centre) with coaches Akif Shirazi (left) and Chris Baker (right) after winning at the national junior championships. Picture: AKIF SHIRAZI

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Billy Baxter delivered yet another impressive display to seal a finals spot at the National Junior Championships.

Billy Baxter after progressing to the finals of the national junior championships. Picture: AKIF SHIRAZIBilly Baxter after progressing to the finals of the national junior championships. Picture: AKIF SHIRAZI

The Doddington boxer, who now fights out of Peterborough Police Boxing Club, beat Prince Dubois on points in Sudbury to earn his place in the last four, having previously won the under 65kg crown for England at the three nations championships last year.

Baxter forced Dubois, the younger brother of British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Daniel, under pressure from the offset and despite going the distance, the Fenland fighter won by a comfortable margin.

“It was a great performance,” Chris Baker, Baxter’s trainer, said.

“We knew Prince Dubois was an awkward opponent, but a pressure fighter. From my research, if you put pressure on him, he does not like working on the back-foot.

Billy Baxter in action against Prince Dubois. Picture: JASMINE COXBilly Baxter in action against Prince Dubois. Picture: JASMINE COX

“I said to Billy ‘put the pressure on him and box smart’. He did that and he won comfortably.

“Some judges used their unconscious bias, but in my eyes and many others, it was a clear win to Billy.”

Baxter, 15, has made strides in his early career since losing out in the national schoolboys’ championships, as he eyes a place on the European stage.

The former March ABC member moved to the Peterborough club earlier this year, and his trainer believes he has made the right move to continue making progress.

Billy Baxter in action against Prince Dubois. Picture: JASMINE COXBilly Baxter in action against Prince Dubois. Picture: JASMINE COX

“Every kid has got to have a dream. When you have got half a dozen kids as good as each other, who knows how they can develop,” Baker said.

“In the next two or three years, that’s where it really matters when you have got half a dozen kids all aspiring to be the next Olympic champion.

“With our club, he will get lots of opportunities and I think they like the options of variety and the fantastic squad of boxers.

“He has the capability, but it’s the next two years that mean anything.”

Baxter is trained by older brother Dean, who thinks his sibling has a chance of success on an international scale.

“He’s improving with every fight that he has,” Dean said.

“I think that with the ability he’s showing now, he has a good chance of achieving a lot and winning a lot of titles as an amateur.

“You never know he could work his way up and be in the Great Britain squad for the next Olympics.”

Baxter was due to compete in the national junior championship semi-finals in Liverpool this weekend, but this has been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He is also preparing to fight at the Monkstown International Box Cup in Dublin in June, which could also be affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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