Lambton Street’s two heavy men Warren Cassap and Courtney Clift will both compete in the ABA senior semi final today in Newbiggin.
Both boxers received bye’s through to the quarter finals which were played out last weekend in Peterlee.
For 31 year-old super-heavyweight Courtney Clift it was a case of unfinished business as he returned to boxing for the first time since reaching the semi final back in 2004.
Courtney’s trainer Tony Austin said:
“I took him to the semi final back in 2004 but just before the semi’s his father passed away and his head just wasn’t in it. After that he took time away from boxing to be with his family and focus on his recycling business, but we always stayed in contact.
“He got back in touch this year and said he was ready to get back in the ring. We were going to turn him professional straight away but he decided he wanted to have another crack at the ABA’s so here we are. In the quarter’s Courtney had a battle against the guy who got to the final last year but he got through it and did well.”
Warren on the other hand is just 19 years-old and is hotly touted as a real prospect to represent Great Britain at competitions after the London 2012 Olympics. He was a very successful at schoolboy and junior level and after turning senior last year went to the quarters at the first time of asking. Austin said of Warren:
“He’s a talented kid and he’s made a big name for himself now in the region. In the quarters Warren had a right old war but he kept his boxing going. It was a hard fight but he too came through it and I most say I’m quietly confident for the both of them. It all depends on what happens on the day in this sport so I’m hoping they’ll do it, yeah I’m quietly confident.”
The event takes place tonight at Newbiggin Leisure Centre with Warren fighting Corby’s Simon Barclay and Courtney fighting Burton’s Frazer Clarke. There will also be 9 other boxers from the region competing for a place in the national final.