Oldham teenage boxer ‘over the moon’ with World Series debut for British Lionhearts

Despite being given just a few days notice ahead of his World Series Boxing debut, teenager Will Cawley fought his way into the limelight with an impressive display for the British Lionhearts.

Cawley, 19, overpowered Abdelhafid Benaicha of the France Fighting Rosters in their flyweight bout at London’s York Hall on Saturday night, winning unanimously on points.

The Oldham fighter’s win set the Lionhearts on their way to a sensational comeback, winning 4-2 on the night and 6-5 overall to reach the semi-finals, which take place over two legs next month.

Cawley was buzzing after his victory, and revealed his delight at representing his country under the lights at such a prestigious fighting venue, adding that the electric atmosphere gave him an extra injection of pace and energy in the ring.

“I felt great after all five rounds,” said Cawley, who trains at Oldham Boxing Club. “I wish I had a bit more time to get fitter, as I boxed the fight at four days’ notice. But I took the opportunity with both hands.

“It’s such a good feeling – it’s always a good feeling to get your hand raised, but in front of all these people, I’m so proud to get the win.

“I’m over the moon. He was a good professional boxer and he was undefeated. That was his first loss coming from me, and I’m still an amateur.

“I’m proud to fight for my country under these lights and in a great venue like York Hall. It’s great to fight at home – I travel a lot for tournaments and that home crowd spurred me on.

“I don’t think I’ll box in a place like this when I turn over to professional – it’s just amazing, the atmosphere, the lights, the opposition, everything. I love it.”

Cawley will now be in contention for a place on the semi-final clash against Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, and also has set his sights on representing his country in June’s European Championships.

The former Our Lady’s Roman Catholic High School pupil will be part of a training camp in Uzbekistan, and he hopes to make even more of a mark with the powers that be as he looks towards his next fight.

“There is the European Championships in June – I’m going to Uzbekistan in June on a training camp and hopefully I’ll get selected for them,” he said.

“I’m still only 19, I’m still a baby compared to some of these boys.”

See the British Lionhearts in their World Series of Boxing Semi-Final, 2nd Leg vs Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, 8 June at York Hall, London. Advance tickets £20 at

Image courtesy of VIPBoxingPromotions via YouTube, with thanks.

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