Chingford boxer Mikey Oats will be backed by a coach-load of supporters when he fights for his first ABA Junior Championships title on Sunday.
Oats, 15, reached the Class A 40kg final by beating Sugar Shiloh of Small Holdings ABC in Surrey in the semi-finals on a unanimous decision.
There were only three members of the Oats family in attendance for the semi-final, held in the Isle of Sheppy in Kent, but father Simon says Oats will enjoy a considerably stronger backing on Sunday.
“I’ve had to hire a coach, the whole family are going, plus friends,” explained Oats.
“He’s really excited. He’s training really hard, going down to the gym every day and if he’s not at the gym he’s out running or doing pull ups on his pull-up bar.”
This is the first year Oats has entered the ABA Junior Championships, having previously won the National Schoolboy Championships in 2012 before losing his crown to Sunday’s final opponent, Ibrahim Nadim, the following year.
Asked what Mikey’s target was prior to the competition’s start, Oats admits his son had always aimed high.
“Mikey said since he started that one day he’ll be world champion; ‘I’m going to be the next Ricky Hatton’,” laughed the boxer’s father.
“He has the same all-action style as Ricky did. He fares better against taller boys and Ibrahim is a tall boy.”
The finals will be held at the Territorial Army Barracks in Kidbrooke, with Oats’ final comprised of three rounds of two minutes.