Mal Gates says Sam Menzies is the future of his gym after watching the youngster turn in another accomplished performance.
Menzies is following in the footsetps of fellow former Horsley Hill amateur Anthony Nelson in the paid ranks.
While Nelson has already made his name on the local scene and national stage, Menzies fought just his second fight as a pro at the weekend.
He beat Anwar Alfradi comfortably on points to go with victories for his Harton and Westoe gym stablemates Paul Gidney and Nelson on a fine show at Temple Park Centre.
Gates was delighted with the way the show went in front of their hometown support, and reserved special praise for 21-year-old Menzies.
“I’m happy with all three (of my lads) and think all three were brilliant,” he said.
“I’m over the moon for Paul, the kid he fought was really awkward, so he boxed really well, and Sam, I’m so impressed with Sam. He kept his composure against a very tricky kid and didn’t get carried away.
“He’s the future of my gym and I told him that in the ring – Sam was just outstanding.”
Nelson was returning to the ring for the first time in two years and beat Lithuanian Simas Volosinas on points as he warmed up for his crack at the vacant WBA Continental super flyweight title against Charlie Edwards on June 16 at Metro Radio Arena.
The 32-year-old wasn’t happy with his performance, despite dropping Volosinas in the opening round, but Gates says that is because of the high standards the ex-Commonwealth champion has.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do (with Nella) for his next fight.
“He was not at his best but it’s two years on Monday since he was last in the ring and two years is a long time to be out, the timing is just not there.
“He wasn’t well either, you can see that; I’m not making excuses but the problem is he sets himself such high standards and rightly so as he’s a three-time champion (Northern Area, English and Commonwealth super flyweight).
“At the end of the day we’re at where we’re at and we wanted six good rounds tonight, and six good rounds in the bank with ten tough rounds coming up (against Charlie Edwards).
“The kid (Volosinas) was 9st 9 and I know Anthony was but that’s not his weight category.
“He’s boxed well above his weight category, boxing lads that’s heavier than you and the punching takes a lot off you.”