VIDEO: Halstead boxer Jason Bradley looking to end ring career on a high in England Boxing National Amateur Championships after defeating Sudbury star Jake Sumner
Jason Bradley had already made the decision to hang up his gloves at the end of the season, but will now be flying the flag for home-town club Halstead as the Eastern Counties Elite champion on the national stage.
The 28-year-old had never held a regional title before overcoming the reigning champion, Sudbury’s Jake Sumner, at Eastgate Boxing Club’s packed charity dinner show with Stowmarket & District Lions Club at Debenham Leisure Centre on Friday.
The split decision victory, which left the Sudbury camp ‘gutted’ after thinking they had done enough to win, puts him through to the England Boxing National Amateur Championships Elite pre-quarter-finals round in Nottingham a week on Saturday (April 6) with fellow club-mate Joe Bonito (U86kg). Their opponents are yet to be confirmed.
But Bradley is now hoping to end his boxing career, providing he does not go all the way and get the reward of an England team place, on a high.
“It feels brilliant,” he said, following the under-81kg contest.
“It was a tough old fight as well. I didn’t box to my best but I still ground out the victory, so I am happy and it’s on to the next round now.”
The fighter who started late in the ring, giving up football for boxing at 23, added: “I don’t think Halstead have got this far before.
“If I won the whole thing of course I would (carry on). If I get to the quarter finals I would be happy.”
Following their first fight together, Sumner’s Sudbury ABC coach, Neil Anderson, said they were both shell-shocked when the judge’s verdict was announced.
“I’m gutted for Jake,” he said. “I thought he won the first easy. I thought he nicked the second and we lost the last.
“He didn’t box very well, I’ll be honest, but I thought he landed the cleaner shots, regardless of shape.
“I thought it was about landing clean shots, not just throwing arm punches.
“It’s like Jake said: he can’t remember being hit. I thought he landed some lovely shots. Yes, he fell in a bit but there you go.”
The night did finish on a better note for Sudbury though with Vernon Jansevski, 24, making it two wins from two in a big-hitting encounter at 86kg with March’s Benaldo Marime.
“Vernon had a good bout,” said Anderson. “There were some big shots landed there.”
Elsewhere on the card, Sudbury’s Nathan Willett, 14, lost by a unanimous decision to Eastgate’s Jaydon Waide in their 50kg contest, though he did delight the crowd with a good left hook at the end of the first round.
Sudbury’s national amateur championships interest this season will now rest with Scott Stannard in the Schoolboys, next month.