Holbeach Drove Hitman’s Haye-day after BUCS victory

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE: Jack Bristowe (right) beat Josh Coulton to lift the BUCS novice light-heavyweight title in Sheffield.
UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE: Jack Bristowe (right) beat Josh Coulton to lift the BUCS novice light-heavyweight title in Sheffield.
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Combat king Jack Bristowe (18) is making ‘Haye’ in the ring just he like he did on the mat after capturing his first-ever boxing title.

Less than a year after taking up the noble art of boxing on the back of winning five world kickboxing titles in a four-year spell, the Holbeach Drove Hitman won the novice light-heavyweight crown at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships in Sheffield.

Jack, who left Spalding Grammar School last July to study law at Leeds Beckett University, was entered for the biggest annual multi-sports event in the UK after impressing coaches at his first training session.

The Hitman reached the final of the men’s 75-81kg section after a quarter-final bye and a first-round stoppage win in his semi-final against Joe Mallinder of Aberystwyth University.

Jack said: “I didn’t expect to get any fights straightaway and I also didn’t expect the recognition I got at university.

“The coaches there didn’t know about my kickboxing success until I told them and after I sparred in front of them for the first time, they put me straight into the boxing team.

I was really nervous because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stop him and so I had to outbox him

Jack Bristowe, five-time world kickboxing champion and new BUCS novice light-heavyweight champion

“I didn’t really know what to expect at the BUCS Championships and, even though my kickboxing experience helped me a lot, it was completely different for me to step in a ring than stepping onto a mat.

“But the confidence in fighting is the same and I knew how it would feel before a fight, compared to someone who had never fought before.

“It felt good to have my first fight and for it to be stopped in the first round.

“But because I’d got all worked up for it, I was a bit annoyed to have done all that training only for the fight to be over in less than a round.”

If the semi-final was a blitz, Jack was well prepared for a tougher final against brawler Josh Coulton of Worcester University at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International Swimming Centre.

Jack said: “I was really nervous because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stop him and so I had to outbox him.

“My coach had got the biggest guy in the gym to run at me and fight as if he was Josh.

“He would have watched me but I changed my boxing style completely on the day, standing off him so that he couldn’t grab and hit me.

“It seemed like forever when we were waiting in the ring for a decision and when they said it was a split decision, my heart stopped.

“But I saw my coach had his thumbs up and was smiling so when the referee lifted my arm as the winner, it was a relief to know that all the hard work of training for the fight had paid off.”

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