X Box fighter Hopewell wins first national title

Nicola Hopewell celebrates her national title win
Nicola Hopewell celebrates her national title win

X Box Academy couldn’t have got their fourth season off to a better start thanks to two newly crowned East Midlands Champions and a national title.

Leon Smith picked up a regional title, while team-mate Nicola Hopewell went one better, adding a national belt to her collection.

Smith was eventually defeated in the national quarter-finals, losing a points decision to the Midlands champion and eventual winner Enrico Thaw.

Hopewell went all the way to the national final last year and lost, but wasn’t to be denied this year, taking a unanimous points win over a London fighter.

This brought hers and the club’s first national title, adding to the X Box Academy’s five East Midlands title and Central England belt.

Head coach and Chris Boyle said: “Nicola is a pleasure to train, she listens to everything that’s said by the team and her impressive performance and improved displays this season are credit to her dedication.”

A delighted Hopewell added: “Getting my hand raised in this year’s final was such a massive relief after the loss in the final last year.

“I still can’t believe it.

“I’m improving all the time at the club and feel my best performances are still in front of me.”