TWO talented North East Wales fighters are aiming to be boxing clever when they take to the ring against the very best competitors in Britain.

Shotton Boxing Club’s James Smyth and the Wrexham club’s Rhys Jones have both been selected to represent Wales at next month’s Three Nations event.

James’ dad Gary is a coach at Shotton and he said: “He’s got a cold at the moment. He’s not trained much and we’ve got a month. Hopefully he’s ready and he’s a good boxer.

“His footwork’s really good and he’s really quick on his feet.

“I have always told him that footwork is everything.”

James, who is 16, has secured selection for the forthcoming Three Nations event having won the Welsh national title.

He triumphed in the 54kg Welsh youth open class and this is the first such national accolade for the Shotton club in a number of years.

These are exciting times for Shotton, which is also planning to host a boxing show in the civic hall on June 15.

Diane Doran, the club secretary, has highlighted the important work that Shotton ABC continues to carry out in the area.

She told Welsh Boxing: “We have always provided a safe environment where people from ten years and above can train in a boxing gym.

“We enable people from all walks of life to join in a sport that is not readily available in other training centres.”

Having been approached by Empire Fighting Chance through Sport Wales, Shotton has been more than eager to accommodate interventional sessions running for youngsters across Flintshire and surrounding areas.

“They’re learning the boxing discipline,” added Diane. “We try to instil a sense of self-worth and respect for others.”

Shotton ABC also works with Sports Development, enabling young people from the local area to gain boxing knowledge.

“As a rule, they have approximately five youngsters who regularly attended sessions,” she said.

“Many of these youngsters may not have come to the club if they had not been signposted our way.

“Our participants don’t have to want to box but can use the training as an outlet to further their knowledge of the sport.

“We encourage our participants to use the sessions to get healthy and fitter which, in turn, helps with mental as well as physical wellbeing.”