PAT BENSON BOXING ACADEMY: PRODUCING CHAMPIONS SINCE 1931
On the wall of our Adderley Street boxing gym is a famous belt with the names of National Champions dating back to 1931. It’s a poignant reminder of the club’s long and rich history, which was being carved out decades before our current national champions were even born.
Since the club’s reinvention at the new Adderley Street premises in 2006, the club has continued to produce regional and national champions.
The Pat Benson Championship Roll of honour, since 1931
M.Evans National Champion 8st (stones)
W.Froggatt National Champion 8st
W.Webb National Champion 8st 6lbs
D.Hathaway National Champion
W.Finnigan National Champion 8st 7lbs
Possibly the club’s most successful year; in the National ABA Championships, Paul and Mark Ramsey won Senior ABA titles in a squad that included a staggering 4 finalists and 7 semi finalists. Both men boxed for England many times and Paul Ramsey competed against the likes of Andreas Kotelnik, Kostya Tszyu and Ricky Hatton during his Small Heath days.
M.Ramsey Light Middle ABA Champion
P.Ramsey Light Weight ABA Champion
Rowan Anthony Williams, competed in the flyweight division at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Matthew Macklin wins ABA National Junior Championship.
Matthew Macklin wins Senior ABA title at the age of 18.
Frankie Gavin, future world amateur champion, wins National Schoolboy Title for Small Heath.
Paddy Benson wins National Universities Championship
Bradley Savage wins the Redditch Box-Cup
Connor Benson and Connor Goodchild represent England select team VS Wales
Louis Regan wins the Nationla Schools’ Championship
Louis Regan wins the GB Tri-Nations Championship
Isral McKenzie wins the National Junior Cadet Championship
Isral McKenzie wins the NAGBC National Championship
Cianan Folan wins the CEB Senior Welterweight Title
Cianan Foalan wins the Celtic Box-Cup
Michael Sweeney wins Midland Schoolboy title
Senior Amateur Boxing Champion, 2001
World title challenger
At just 10 years old, Matthew Macklin first walked through the doors of Small Heath ABC. Exactly 18 years to the day after his first fight on St.Patricks Day 1994, Macklin fought for the World Middleweight Championship against Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This was Macklin’s second of three attempts to become World Champion, the other two being against Gennady Golovkin and Felix Sturm – the Sturm fight being regarded as one of the worst decisions of the modern era.
As an amateur, Macklin won the NABC’s twice, the Junior and Senior ABA’s in his first year. He also boxed for England at Schoolboy, Young England and Senior levels and in 2000 was named young boxer of the year. As a professional, Macklin would also go on to win the European Middleweight title twice alongside the British and Irish titles too.
I’m proud of what I achieved in boxing and it was a fantastic journey that all started at the Small Heath ABC gym on fazeley street. I boxed there from the age of 11 up until 18 and will cherish those memories forever.
Rowan Anthony Williams
One of Pat’s most successful proteges, Rowan Anthony Williams, competed in the flyweight division at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. This is an incredible achievement for the club, for the boxer and for our founder, Pat Benson. Pat is one of only two coaches in Birmingham to train an Olympian, in addition to Senior National Elite Champions. Rowan started well in the tournament, beating Stephen Ahialey, of Ghana, 11 points to 3, where he reached the Quarter Finals. He was just one victory away from a Bronze medal, before he was defeated in the Quarter Finals by Roel Velasco of the Philippines, by 17 points to 6.
Irish born Barney Burns was one of the most talented exports of the Emerald Isle. Winning three National titles for Small Heath, he boxed for Europe against America in the 60s, an incredible achievement which sets the mark for future young boxers aiming to leave their mark on Birmingham’s fight culture.
The roll of honour is much longer, however, with Shaun Cogan, Mark Sperin, Mick Harkin and Dean Redmond winning National Irish Championships, in addition to John McBean and Dean Ward winning National Junior Titles, Marjhit Singh winning a National schools Title and Paddy Benson winning a British Universities Title.