Senior ABA champion Lewis Williams says the magnitude of his achievement still has not sunk in.
Williams became only the fourth boxer from Leamington to win the coveted title when he overcame Natty Ngwenya (UKAF) at York Hall in London on Sunday to claim the 91kg belt.
His success at the National Elite Championships sees him emulate Randolph Turpin who won the welterweight division in 1945 and the middleweight division the following year, Willie Stack, who won the middleweight crown in 1964 and 1978 welterweight champion Eddie Burns.
He also adds his name to a list of previous champions which reads like a who’s who of British boxing.
“It’s mad. It hasn’t hit me as a big as it should be,” said the 19-year-old.
“Anthony Joshua has won it a weight above at around 20, 21. Tony Bellew won this weight when he was 19 or 20. Frank Bruno. Huge names. Back in the day he was the man.”
Williams had to overcome Jamie Smith (Evolve) and Rob Squires (Barum) to set up a clash with old adversary Ngwenya who beat him in their previous encounter.
However, a change in tactics from the Cleary’s boxer proved the key to his unanimous victory.
“Before (against Ngwenya) I’d want to lead the fight, putting through combinations. But that’s his trap, he leans back, ducks and gets away with being so low. He even headbutted me below the belt.
“So I stuck with the jab and then stepped away. When he leads, catch him. It was like a game of tig.
“I was pestering him and when I was landing shots he was sticking his tongue out, so it was like, if you stick your tongue out I’ll hit you three times.”
Williams is currently combining his time up in Sheffield with the Great Britain squad with his studies at the University of Coventry.
However, he says that despite a gruelling schedule and his ABA success there is no danger of him losing motivation.
“I really don’t like losing. I’ve had a few losses recently with GB when I thought I’d won it.
“I’m trying to prove I’m a good boxer and I can win fights.
“The plan now is to keep the momentum going and when the Commonwealth Games come to Birmingham become a household name.”
n Royal Leamington Spa boxer Mario Piwowar bowed out at the quarter-final stage to Squires despite coach Ollie O’Neill believing he had done enough to claim the win.
Piwowar suffered a bloodied nose in the second round which O’Neill felt influenced the judges.
“We’re disappointed,” said O’Neill. “Mario worked well off his jab and was getting through with the cleaner shots.”