Big hopes for Chesterfield ABC boxer Dylan Saleni after an impressive 2021

Young Chesterfield ABC boxer Dylan Saleni has his sights set on a future Olympic Games call-up to Team GB after an impressive 2021.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 2:00 pm
Dylan Saleni with his national semi-final awards.

The 12-year-old was the East Midlands Area champion in the England Boxing National Schools Championships, eventually beaten by Harvey Salomino at the national semi-finals in September in the male 44-46kg category.

And dad Tony says that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Dylan’s boxing has come on well since becoming part of Chesterfield ABC two years ago.

He said: “Dylan joined the gym in March 2020, had one skills bout and then the first lockdown happened.

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Dylan Saleni chats to Chesterfield ABC founder Richard Walker in 2020.

"But he trained really hard at home throughout and when the gym was reopened he was one of six promising boxers allowed to train there, rather than the 30 or so that can often be there at any time.

"That in turn meant his coaching was more concentrated and, working one-on-one with top coaches like Glynn Turner and Dean Smith, his skills have come on strong.”

With a successful 2021 behind him, which also included a recent win on a bill at the Devonshire Dome in Buxton, Dylan now has his sights set on more bouts in 2022 and improving on his semi-final spot in the National Championships, as well as looking even further ahead.

Tony added: “We’re trying to get him as many bouts as possible to get more ring experience.

"Dylan has big ambitions and wants to eventually be part of the Team GB squad at the Olympics in a few years’ time, so it’s good that he’s working so hard.”

Tony also explained how a photo taken two years ago of Dylan with Chesterfield ABC founder Richard Walker is symbolic of the passing down of skills through generations.

He added: “Richard, who founded the gym in 1974, sadly passed away earlier this year so the photo, taken not long after Dylan joined, is that bit more poignant, particularly as Dylan’s first bout was one of Richard’s last outings.

"Dylan was enthralled by what Richard had to say and I think it almost shows the handing over of the old guard in some ways, from the older generation to the younger ones, to go on and maintain the club’s history.”