George is learning the ropes at Merlins Bridge Amateur Boxing Club

George Scale

George Scale is just 12 years of age but the youngster from Capestone Farm in Walwyn’s Castle is already as committed as any senior boxer at Merlins Bridge Amateur Boxing Club, where he trains three times a week under the watchful eye of coach Graham Brockway.
George is driven in to training three times a week by parents Justin and Kate, who both love horse riding, and he readily admits that if it wasn’t for the fact that he has homework to do from Tasker Milward School he would go every night because he loves the training so much.

But that apart they are very support of his sporting love and are full of praise for the care he is shown by Graham Brockway and the rest of the coaches at a thriving club, with Justin telling us,

“We know that he is well cared for when he is there, or away at boxing shows because the coaches take their roles very seriously and we go to watch him when he is on a show and can see how they care for George in every way – and we would recommend Merlins Bridge ABC to any parents considering allowing their children to train and eventually box.”

George started out like a lot of youngsters after seeing the likes of Joe Calzaghe on television and it is no coincidence that Joe is top of his list of favourites.

“I thought he was great because he was Welsh,” said George, “and never lost a fight in his career against very strong opponents – and I also cheer on Wales in rugby because I play flanker for my age group at Tasker Milward against other Pembrokeshire teams.”

But it is boxing that commands George’s sporting attention and he readily admits that he found the training harder than he initially thought after mum popped him down to Merlins Bridge.

“I thought that skipping and shadow boxing would be easy as warm-up exercises but skipping is hard to get into a rhythm for and shadow boxing is tough on the arms – but I’m not bad now I have mastered the skipping rope and I actually enjoy shadow boxing.”

That pales into physical insignificance, however, as George and Co than do their ‘Ton-Up’ routine that sees them complete ten sets of ten different exercises like press-ups, sit ups, burpees, trunk curls and a whole lot more – with Mr Brockway out front and making sure they are done properly.

“Once you get into doing them it is brilliant,” admitted George, “and although my knees and arms used to feel like jelly when I started now I can do three lots of ‘Ton-Ups’ a night now!”

George Scale on the punch bagSome gentle  work on the heavy bag and speed ball helped as warm-down exercises and after about five weeks Graham felt that George was ready to try some sparring against another lad of the same size and from there it has been a regular feature of his training routine that he should finish off with three rounds.

“We always have a coach in the ring with us and have to wear our head guards and gum shields, and I really enjoy taking part because it’s great practice.”

After almost a year of building up his fitness and confidence levels there came a night when Graham and George had an earnest discussion where Graham asked George if he fancied taking on the challenge of starting to box and the immediate answer was “Yes please!”

So then it was off to Walwyn’s Castle for a chat with Kate and Justin, who had to sign the consent form after Graham had explained what it entailed.

But then came the most frustrating time for young George because for six months he found himself without a suitable opponent because of the need to have him properly matched with another novice of the same age and weight.

“I was told four or five times that my first bout was arranged but then Graham would receive a message saying it was off for whatever reason and the worst was when I travelled with some of the other boys to make my debut in Llanelli but the boy I was going to box was so nervous he was sick in the toilet and couldn’t take part. It was a pain because I was pumped up and made sure I had my favourite food, porridge, before we left home!”

But then came his first contest in Tumble, where he couldn’t be blamed in the circumstances for half-expecting it to be off again but it took the form of an exhibition bout because of a slight weight anomaly.

Mum and dad were there to cheer him on and he had good wishes from brother Sam (20) and sister Meg (18) as he really enjoyed the occasion over three one and a half-minute rounds so much that he wished it was a full bout but was delighted when he and opponent Noah Richards (Aberystwyth) received the trophies.

“It was brilliant to have my first trophy,” chuckled George, “and I have a shelf in my bedroom to keep them on now because since then I‘ve had two more!”

His first full bout came a short while later as he took on Lloyd Lewis (DJ Boxing) at Trostre and with Graham Brockway and Ian Smith in his corner won all three rounds to receive the unanimous decision of the judges and says that having his arm raised by the referee after the MC announced the verdict was one he won’t forget in a hurry.

A month later, just before Christmas, George was again in action in Port Talbot against home boxer Dylan Edwards and on this occasion he lost to a taller opponent who used his extra reach well – but is good to report that although he was disappointed he had no complaints and is determined to use it as the means to work even harder at his skills.

“Perhaps my head wasn’t quite right on the night but I’m already looking forward to my next bout now and hope it comes soon.”

From our short chat it is evident that George Scale has an old head and young shoulders and one only has to watch him train to see how committed he is and how much he relishes the training.

We are confident that we are sure to hear a great deal more about his involvement at Merlins Bridge ABC and we look forward to watching this smashing young feller in the ring when the club next puts on its own show, probably at Letterston Village Hall, sometime in the near future!