Alfie Holman and Charlie Keet are Heart of Portsmouth’s last national boxing champions

The club have had two winners at the English Schools Championships held in Oxfordshire.

Alfie Holman, 13, won the Class A Under 44kg title, beating Liam Freanley of Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club.

And Charlie Keet won the Under 36kg Cadet Championship title, beating Newham Boxing Club’s Myles Cash.

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Portsmouth Heartland English Schools champions Alfie Holman, left, and Charlie Keet. Also pictured are coaches George Smith, David Johnston and Jimmy Smith. Photo: Habibur Rahman

“We are very proud of them,” HoP head coach Q Shillingford said. “They are national champions because they have shown great commitment and dedication.”

Holman has been with HoP since he was seven years old. This is his second national award in a year, following his success in the MTX Global Lonsdale Box Cup.

He will now undertake assessments at Tamworth in the Midlands with a view to winning selection for the England squad for the European Schools Championships to be held in Turkey in August.

Shillingham has been chosen as head coach of the England schools team and will bring around 18 boys and girls to the 10-day tournament.

Charlie Keet, left, and Alfie Holman. Photo: Habibur Rahman

Holman and Keet train twice a week at HoP on club nights. Additionally, they have individual practices on Fridays and team fights on Sundays. They will also do physical training at home.

Shillingford was keen to congratulate his club’s junior coaching staff – Dave Johnston, Georgie Smith, Lee Theobald and Jimmy Smith – who are supervising around 70 children, including beginners.

HoP is no stranger to producing national champions and has seen seven local boxers progress to England squads.

“Most boxing clubs would be delighted if they had just one boxer in the England squad in their entire history,” Shillingford said. “We’ve had seven in 15 years.”