COLCHESTER Sixth Form College student Holly Kocurek is this weekend aiming to be crowned national champion in her first season.

The former Philip Morant School student is preparing to box at the National Youth Development Championships final in Bradbury, on Sunday.

She will face Sevenoaks' Francesca Hennessy, an experienced and highly-touted boxer who is the daughter of respected promoter/manager Mick Hennessy.

Kocurek is coached by Colchester professional Tommy Jacobs, who has high hopes for the youngster.

He said: "I believe Holly has the ability to beat any girl her age and weight in the country.

"Before her debut, she was sparring Christina Del Valle Pacheco who has contested for the WBA world title.

"And just last week she was sparring Calli Bushell, a winter women’s box cup champion who is ranked inside the top ten of elite ladies in the country and looking at competing in the next Commonwealth Games.

"Holly was able to mix at that level far above her own, so I don’t think she will have too many issues.

"We hope as many people as possible can travel to the final and watch Holly not only become the first national champion to train out of Willies Gym but also to be another national champion from Colchester.

"Team GB star Lewis Richardson often trains alongside the amateurs at Willies Gym and Holly is looking to one day emulate him and make her way to the very top of the sport."

Kocurek, who boxes for Hoddesdon Boxing Academy but trains regularly at Colchester's Willies Gym, is an example to all the other amateur boxers at the club.

She trains hard, listens and applies herself to the utmost of her abilities at all times.

Kocurek only made her debut a few months ago, at the Hoddesdon BA home show, in Harlow.

She started well boxing on the back foot against her opponent from Bicester, picking her shots and boxed to orders and making her opponent miss, punishing her for her mistakes.

At the end of the round, coach Jacobs instructed Kocurek to start putting the pressure on her opponent, who received a mandatory eight count from the referee before he called a stop to proceedings to stop any further damage.

Kocurek then competed at the MTK Box Cup in Cumbria, where her team-mate Jack Tomlin made the quarter-finals and Sky Walker-Piper claimed bronze in their respective categories.

However, Kocurek's potential opponents in her weight division all pulled out, once they had found out she had won her debut inside the distance.