Teenage boxing talent Hayley Riddle wins national title – and has sights set on more success

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Hayley Riddle is targeting more success after recently winning the 2019 England Boxing National Development Championships.

The 16-year-old – who competed in the junior female 48kg class – is Belvedere Boxing Club’s first national champion.

Riddle beat Lucy Caldicott (Wolverhampton) on a split decision at Banbury’s Spiceball Leisure Centre.

She said: “I am over the moon. I’ve never been so happy. I really hope I can inspire people to do more and chase their goals.

“It’s full steam ahead. I will not be backing down.

“I want to win the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup in December and the  England National Youth Championships in February. Looking more long term, I want to win an Olympic gold at Paris 2024.”

Riddle defeated Horsham’s Amy Judge by unanimous decision in her semi final as well as Rebecca Winter (High Wycombe) in the last eight.

She says a “supportive network” has helped her make great strides in the sport.

“I owe it my parents, coach, club and  – in particular – coach Damola Ojoas. He believed in me and gets the best out of me. His demands are so high and he will never allow me to take short cuts, no matter how well.

“I really struggled in school – I had issues with socialising and confidence and this affected my relationship with teachers and pupils.

“Starting boxing give me a great avenue to let out my frustration and anger. It gave me the discipline I really needed. I have gained a lot of confidence and no longer have issues socially.”

Ojo said: “ We are all so proud of Hayley winning the national title.

“I still believe she has so much more to give. She is not just a good female boxer, she is an excellent boxer period.

“As a coach her hard work and dedication fills me with pride and joy to see someone who had no sporting background do so well in such a short  space of time is remarkable.”

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