A KNOCK-OUT boxer who started training at just four years old is celebrating after taking home a silver medal at an international competition.
Abby Briggs, 12, who trains at Hunslet Club, beat opponents from Ireland, Romania and Serbia at the European Schools Championships in Bulgaria last month.
Despite being the youngest in the competition, she took on a Russian opponent in the final, where she took home the silver medal. Abby’s dad Carl Briggs, 36, said the excitement began when they discovered she’d been picked for the England squad.
“Abby was over the moon, she couldn’t believe she had got in,” he said. “We were really proud.”
Mr Briggs and Abby’s mum Michelle, 35, travelled separately to Abby and the rest of the England team and were “gutted” to miss her first fight.
“We had to watch it as a live stream on our phone at a service station,” he said. “Abby won the Romanian in the quarterfinals in the first round. Me and her mum were nervous.
“We want to say a big thank you to Abby’s coaches Dennis Robbins and Tony Nixon because they went above and beyond to get Abby ready for this competition and we are so grateful. “
Abby began training when she was four years old. When she was 10, she started taking part in her first practice bouts, and moved on to boxing fully when she was 11.
She had just three fights before she went out to the competition.
Abby told the YEP she got “really nervous” before her fights but was excited to do so well.
“I wasn’t experienced at all - and now I’ve had more international fights than home fights.
“I was gutted when I lost but looking back I’m really happy. I was a year underage so next year I should win gold.”