Jack Wiffen will become the first Sudbury ABC member to join up with a national coaching set-up when he steps into Tamworth Boxing Club this weekend.
The town’s rising star received a letter from England Boxing over the last week informing him he would not need to undergo an assessment in front of their scouts to be offered a place on their England Talent Programme for the next year.
It said national scouts assessed his performance in last month’s England Boxing National Junior Championships final, which he narrowly lost, and were suitably impressed enough to offer him a place on the programme off the back of it.
Sudbury head coach Neil Anderson, who said Mark Reynolds was the last club member, and possibly only, to box for England, 30 years ago, commented: “I am really, really pleased for him, especially given he was picked on his performance. It is fantastic.
“It just shows that all that good schooling and hard work has come through.
“He begins this weekend and there will be one (session) every month.
“There will be two competitions coming up and that will be his goal: the Junior Three Nations (May 2019), where the winner goes through to the Junior Europeans in Russia (October 2019).
“If he does well, he may get on, you never know, but he has got something to work towards.”
The 16-year-old became the first Sudbury boxer to make the final of the prestigious national competition during head coach Anderson’s 35 years of involvement with the club — and maybe the first ever.
Wiffen, a pupil at Thomas Gainsborough School, hopes to make a career out of the sport and will begin a boxing apprenticeship scheme at City College Brighton & Hove that will allow him to train full-time while also studying, from September.
The Sudbury star has the opportunity to attend one England Talent Programme training camp a month ahead of the two competitions, which commence from next May.
• Meanwhile, Sudbury’s Jake Sumner suffered defeat in his England Boxing Senior Elite National Championships pre quarter-final middleweight bout with Bear Town Congleton’s Ramtin Musah, who has a record of 36 wins from 43 fights.
Anderson said: “He was beaten by a better boy on the day. I am not making excuses, but he did have a honking cold and cough and had not boxed since December.
“He just did not have that ring sharpness back.”