Barclay waits for England after a successful defence

Simon Barclay
Simon Barclay
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Corby heavyweight Simon Barclay is waiting to hear if he will box for England this month.

England will meet Sweden on February 26 - and Barclay has been told he could be called up to box for his country.

Barclay made a winning England debut last year in the Three Nations championships, has won the ABA title twice in three years - and appears to be improving.

The 23 year-old started his defence of the ABA heavyweight title with a unanimous points win over Trinity powerhouse Russ Henshaw in Northampton.

In last season’s Midlands final, Barclay out toughed Henshaw in a blood-splattered, see-saw scrap.

But their East Midlands final on Saturday afternoon was more clear cut. Barclay handed Henshaw counts in the first and third rounds on the way to a unanimous points win.

“I’ve always relied on my speed,” said Barclay, “but I’ve been working very, very hard on improving my power and I think I showed I’m punching harder than ever.

“I’ve been trying to keep my defences tighter as well. I’m not carrying my left hand as low anymore.”

Barclay’s defences were soon put to the test in Northampton.

At the bell, Henshaw steamed into him hurling hooks to body and head.

Barclay kept his defences tight and picked the cleaner punches. Henshaw nodded his approval after a right hand clattered into the side of his head and moments later a similar blow robbed him of his senses briefly and the referee issued a standing ‘eight’ count.

Henshaw shipped a couple more full-blooded shots before the bell and Barclay had more room to work in the second.

He was winded by a body shot, but stayed in charge and a solid two-fisted burst led to another standing count in the last.

The scores were 21-15, 16-13 and 17-10.

Barclay, sponsored by Tata Steel and Weldon Fest, said: “I haven’t boxed for a while and it took me a round to get going. But I felt I boxed well in patches.”

Kettering School of Boxing light-welterweight Peter Garside can consider himself unlucky to be out after dropping a majority points decision to Adam Sircar (Buxton) and Karoly Baubkos is also out.

The Kettering super-heavyweight was edged out by Josh Quailley (Melton) on a razor-thin majority points decision despite. Baubkos appeared to land the cleaner blows and bloodied Quailley’s nose..