Building a home for champions

Ernie Oxer School of Boxing head coach Paul Durose (right) celebrates another national title for the club with Junior ABA Champion Luke Crowcroft. Picture: Trevor Price.
Ernie Oxer School of Boxing head coach Paul Durose (right) celebrates another national title for the club with Junior ABA Champion Luke Crowcroft. Picture: Trevor Price.

IN FOCUS: ERNIE OXER SCHOOL FO BOXING

THE Ernie Oxer School of Boxing is celebrating another of its fighters being crowned national champion after Luke Crowcroft captured the Junior ABA Championship.

The club has come a long way in the last two years when it flung open its doors with just three senior fighters walking down the stairs into the small gym named after the respected former Tom Hill ABC coach who died in 2008.

Those three initial fighters have now moved on from boxing but in their place is a thriving group of young talent, spearheaded by the likes of Crowcroft and Harper, now training in the converted ballroom upstairs.

After his victory, Crowcroft paid tribute to the Oxers coaching team.

He said: “I’ve knuckled down over this last year and got on with my boxing but the training I’ve been having with Paul and Mark Durose has been brilliant.

“It’s top quality coaching that’s really suited my style and allowed me to develop.

“I got a really good grounding and base to work from before I moved to Oxers last year.

“But they’ve taken me on and turned me into a more complete fighter.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for what they have done for me.”

There is a great deal of optimism surrounding Crowcroft that he will provide the club with a ABA Senior Championship in the future.

And there are plenty more fighters ready to follow in the 16-year-old Scawthorpe fighter’s footsteps thanks to the hard work and determination of the three–man coaching team led by Paul Durose.

A former amateur fighter himself, Durose has brought his own experience into coaching along with his brother Mark and fellow trainer Shaun Huffton.

Durose said: “We’ve got a really good team and without them we wouldn’t have the success we’ve had.

“Shaun takes the youngest kids and gets them ready to be passed on to me when they’re getting ready to compete.

“Shaun’s really good at teaching the basics and they kids always come through ready to go.

“And working with me is my brother Mark and we deal with the core of the boxers.

“We both share the same outlook on boxing and it’s rare we’d ever read a match differently.

“We make a great team.”

The team have balanced a steady stream of talent since they opened the doors of the Empress Ballroom-based gym.

*READ THE FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S SOUTH YORKSHIRE TIMES.