Hooks ABC's Eddie Barrett falls narrowly short in last-four championship clash
PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:29 22 February 2016
Hooks ABC ace Eddie Barrett battled bravely in the semi-finals of the England Youth Championships on Saturday, but eventually fell to a narrow defeat against Merridale's Akash Tuqir.
Barrett went into last weekend’s clashes in excellent form, having picked up back-to-back titles in as many months.
He secured the London Youth ABA title in January as well as the GB National Association of Boys Clubs title at the back end of last year.
After progressing to the last-four stage with a classy performance against Bailey Fowler (Heart of Portsmouth) on Friday night, the 16-year-old fell just short against the current European champion Tuqir at the Magna Arena in Rotherham.
First up Barrett faced Fowler in the quarter-finals and made light work of his opponent, despite it only going in his favour by virtue of an unanimous decision.
Barrett picked his shots well and showed a lot of good footwork, with Fowler hardly landing any clean punches on him during the three-round contest.
Saturday proved to be an altogether different and far closer contest against one of the strongest opponents Barrett has faced in his career to date.
Barrett was forced to alter his tactics for the bout against Tuqir, a giant flyweight standing at a mighty 6ft 1in.
The Hooks ace went out all guns blazing and pushed Tuqir back with double jabs, keeping him on the back foot by showing a great work ethic, and deservedly taking the first round.
Tuqir came out stronger in the second round, meeting Barrett in the centre of the ring with some good exchanges, before catching him with a heavy shot, which took the youngster a while to recover from.
Undeterred, Barrett dug deep to stay in contention in the final round.
Yet again he pushed Tuqir back, but the Merridale man responded impressively as the fight drew to a close, with a split decision eventually going in his favour.
Hooks coach Steve Newland praised Barrett, saying: “It was a great gutsy performance from Eddie.
“To take on the European champion like that considering the 18-month age gap and perform like that is brilliant.
“He’s yet again won a lot of admirers and deservedly so.”