HIGHLY promising Rainford boxer Joshua Taylor tasted championship success when he won the Junior National Development title.

Taylor, a student at Rainford Sixth Form, was impressive in his showpiece finale against a more experienced opponent.

In the tournament final in Solihull, on the southern fringe of Birmingham, Taylor defeated Hall Green ABC fighter Harry O’Grady on virtually his home patch.

A bright first minute saw both lads landing jabs but slowly Taylor’s accuracy and work rate took over as he out worked out punched and just out boxed O’Grady over the three two minute rounds.

Winning a national title represents a huge achievement for the 16-year-old Rainford boxer, who trains three nights a week at Kirkby ABC and has been boxing for two years after giving up football.

Living in Rainford, Taylor’s family thought it best to train out of Kirkby as it is closer than the St Helens gyms.

Kirkby ABC also boasts a fine pedigree of producing champions and was the home base of two former world champions - John Conteh and Paul Hodkinson.

Meanwhile at the same event there was success for St Helens girl Rebecca Unsworth, who fights out of Wildcard ABC.

She defeated Kirkby ABC’s Jenny Beech in a very close bout.

Nobody would have guessed the two girls were good friends outside the ring as both girls traded blows in a back and forth bout.

In the end Unsworth prevailed, bringing the gold back to St Helens.

In other boxing news Ricki Lyon kept up a fine family tradition.

The nephew of eight-time ABA winner John, Lyon won the Southern Counties Belt in the Bantamweight division.

He is based at RAF Brize Norton where he has been a firefighter for five years

And that is where the 24-year-old won it last week in the RAF vs Army event.

Originally from Haydock, the former St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School pupil previously boxed at Lowe House Boxing Club.