Clepson dos Santos comes of age in Commonwealth opener

Holy Trinity's Clepson dos Santos got the better of Ghana's Yaw Samuel Addo at the NEC Arena on Monday night. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran in Birmingham

CLEPSON dos Santos had a rough, tough welcome to boxing’s senior ranks last night – but he withstood the storm to edge past rugged Ghanaian Yaw Samuel Addo, moving within one win of a Commonwealth Games medal.

The slick Holy Trinity light-fly, the youngest member of the Team NI boxing team having turned 18 at Christmas, had never shared the ring with a senior opponent and had to come through some difficult moments en route to victory.

And yet he made it look so easy early on, with Addo barely able to lay a glove as dos Santos controlled the bout on the outside, spearing left jabs jerking the Ghanaian’s head back.

But as the Banbridge man tired, the relentless Addo was able to find a home for his wild right hands, though three of the five judges still favoured the work of dos Santos in a tight second.

In the third round Addo was eventually given a public warning for repeated use of the inside of the glove, and dos Santos found a second wind after that breather, using his lightning quick reflexes to picking his opponent off down the straight as he claimed a split decision victory.

Dos Santos’s reward is a quarter-final showdown with Welshman Jake Dodd, and the talented teenager is expecting more of the same on Thursday.

“I was very tired there – I just had to bite down,” he said.

“It was my first fight since the European U22s in March, and my first fight at senior, but it’s a good fight to break me in.

“He was a tough opponent, very strong… you notice a massive difference fighting full grown men, it’s a different type of strength. They’ve got that experience over me.

“I’m only young, but I did alright there. I watched the Welsh guy today, he’s good, similar style, but I should be fitter. I’ll go back to the coaches and they can tell me what I need to improve on and what I did well.”