NORTH WALES boxers won’t have to far to travel to compete in a national competition this weekend.

Plas Madoc Leisure Centre, in Acrefair, hosts to the preliminary round and quarter-finals of the Welsh Novice Championships on February 17 and 18 - the first time the event has been staged away from south Wales.

Those taking part must have had up to five fights and championship bouts will contain three two-minute rounds.

The 300-strong entry list means this year’s championships will take place in two rings and over two sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

Butch Jones, head coach at Maelor Boxing Club in Cefn Mawr, is delighted to have such a prestigious show in the north.

“It’s rare for these championships to come up north,” said Jones. “We hope the weekend will be a success.”

The opening session for ring one will be 12pm on Saturday, with Scott O’Shaughnessy (Denbigh ABC) up against Finley Valvo (Barry West End) in the 63.5kg category.

In the same category, Mold’s Ryan Mahon has been paired with Brandon Florence (Briton Ferry) and in the youth 63.5kg class, Maelor ABC’s Zahid Nasiri will come up against Harley Whelton (Merlins Bridge ABC).

In the same section, Clwyd ABC’s Jamie Arnold has been paired with Dominic Farr (Torfaen Warriors).

In ring two, Mold’s Lewis Renee-Smith takes on Leighton Pawsey (Llantwit Major ABC) in a 71kg bout, Maelor boxer Ben Rowlands will come up against Ieuan Edwards (UBox ABC) in the 75kg category, with Mold’s Shay Smith fighting Welsh Warriors ABC’s Leon Lawlor in the same section.

The second session in ring one opens at 3pm and include Mold’s Joe Gill’s fight against Lucas Lee Churcher (St Josephs) in the junior 60kg category.

Clwyd’s Archie Chatterton fights Joseph Elwood (Merlin’s Bridge) in the junior 50kg section and clubmate Harry Bubb takes on Christian Olubodun (Skewen) in the junior 63kg category.

There’s also a 3pm start to the second session in ring two, where Jay Foster (Deva) has been paired with Marcus Richards (Trelewis) in the 57kg quarter-finals.

Deva club-mate Rory Shawcross will have a 92kg+ quarter-final against Jason Williams (MB Boxing) while on Sunday, the action gets underway at 12pm.

Deva’s Jaye Wildeman will take on a preliminary round winner in his 63.5kg quarter-final and a trio of Wrexham boxers can look forward to quarter-final bouts in ring two from 12pm.

Jake Jones competes in the 57kg class, Will Duffy is in the 60kg category and in the junior 46kg section is Lloyd Davies.

Session two in ring one will open at 3pm, where Mold’s Rhys Evans will face-off against Joe Rowley (Barry West End) in their youth 57kg quarter-final.

In a youth 75kg bout over in ring two, Deva’s Lewis McKiernon has been paired with Cian Pope (All Saints).

Successful boxers will progress to take part in the semi-finals and finals at Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre on the weekend of February 24 and 25.