National double gold and silver prize for Enzo’s Gym

Arnas Simkus took part at the inaugural Northern Ireland Boxing Association Championships hosted by City of Belfast.
Arnas Simkus took part at the inaugural Northern Ireland Boxing Association Championships hosted by City of Belfast.

Fighters out of Portadown-based Enzo’s Gym secured double title glory at the inaugural Northern Ireland Boxing Association Championships.

The Belfast programme featured three competitors out of the town gym - with national belts wrapped up by Colm Gibson and Soufian Mouhsine.

Arnas Simkus had to settle for silver at the City of Belfast Boxing Academy event.

The boxers provided another impressive step forward in the youth training programme devised by Enzo’s Mike Jefferson.

Gibson enjoyed a third-round unanimous decision against Cairn Lodge’s Scott Verner to secure a debut Northern Ireland belt for the Portadown club.

Mouhsine secured a first-round victory over North Down’s Mathew Bowman.

The third contest featured Simkus on top in the second round but Jamie Kane from the host club won the first and final tests.

“Billy McKee from the Midland Club in Belfast is the coach who discovered Carl Frampton,” said Jefferson. “After visiting Enzo’s and watching the standards our boxers achieve, described our club as a great talent pool.

“It’s always a proud time to see someone from the club compete and use the skills developed by our coaching team.

“My coaching developed under Kevin Hickey, a Great Britain coach with Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games experience who set up the British Olympics Association’s technical department.

“He established a range of ground-breaking support services, including pre-Games holding camps which have become the benchmark.

“He was also chef de mission at multiple summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Keith Hagan, a Portadown coach at Enzo’s, recently completed a boxing course with myself under the leadership of Mick Gannon, the Team GB Elite Boxing Programme.

“Mick is the former England national boxing coach and it was a fantastic course.

“We also had Enzo’s Keith Ratcliffe and Ian Macartney attending the course for safeguarding first-aid sessions.

“We have a great, knowledgeable team at the club that includes Glenn McLarnon, Charlie Brown, Mantas Masiluanas and Panama’s Oscar Checa.

“Our coaching programme covers a variety of styles that can help you learn the basics, with everyone welcome.”