Ashley Vanzie is setting his sights on representing England after winning gold at the Haringey boxing tournament at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Victory capped a fantastic year for Vanzie, who boxes out of Dewsbury’s KBW Gym, under the guidance of coach Martin Bateson.
There was talk of Vanzie turning professional at the end of this season but being selected for England trials next month has prompted him to stay in the amateur game.
Vanzie said: “Being picked for England trials has put the icing on the cake for what has been an amazing year.
“I have got a great coach in Martin and a great team behind me at KBW but the only thing that was missing was quality sparring.
“When I was training for the ABA’s, the guys I was sparring were not in the same class as those I mixed with in fights.
“Getting England trials will be a great experience and can only help me progress as a fighter.
“The better I do as an amateur, will earn me better opportunities as a pro and it’s a no-brainer for me to stay amateur and increase by portfolio.”
Vanzie received a bye to the semi-finals at Haringey, where he boxed southpaw Lewis Syrett.
Having forced two eight-counts in the opening two rounds, a barrage of punches in the third forced the referee to stop the fight.
Vanzie then met Dan Aziz in Sunday’s final when he used his jab to good effect in the first before landing telling blows in the second.
Vanzie stepped up the pace and a barrage of body shots forced a standing eight count.
Aziz managed to get to the final bell but Vanzie was declared the unanimous winner on points
Local firm Kozee Sleep is backing Vanzie to success and have sponsored the rising star.