Teenage boxing champion apologises for every punch

MOVING TARGET: Courtney Kingston fails to land this punch on a ducking Shari Ranger in the Senior Female Division in Mackay at the weekend. INSET: Clarence Mitchell.
MOVING TARGET: Courtney Kingston fails to land this punch on a ducking Shari Ranger in the Senior Female Division in Mackay at the weekend. INSET: Clarence Mitchell. Lee Constable

BOXING: Rockhampton PCYC Boxing coach Des Upton keeps telling Clarence Mitchell to "get a bit more mongrel" in him when he climbs into the ring.

But that is not how 14-year-old Mitchell, who claimed the gold medal and national 44.5kg title at the weekend, rolls with the punches.

"The referee kept saying he was a gentleman and that every time he hit his opponent, he would say sorry ... and there I was there telling him to get a bit more mongrel in him," Upton quipped.

Upton travelled with five of his charges to the Australian Sun State Amateur Boxing National Titles in Mackay at the weekend and returned with three gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

A student at Rockhampton high, Mitchell fought Tasmania's Jamie Sokolski in his final, and although he tired in the third round, he comfortably - and, yes, apologetically - won the bout to claim gold.

The young boxing talent continues to flourish in Central Queensland, with 12-year-old Billy "the kid" Evans claiming gold in the 38kg division, beating Longreach rival Ethan Bollard in a close fight.

Jake Brown, 14, was also successful in the ring, triumphing over Townsville's Cecil Brimm in the 48kg final to win the national title in what was only his third fight this year.

It was a slightly disappointing campaign for 16-year-old Lincoln Martin who missed out on gold in the 57kg category.

After beating Townsville's Jessie Waddington comfortably, Martin backed up to fight Mackay's Luke Humphries but was denied the win on a points decision.

Humphries went on to take out the division, while in the 63.5kg, Alan Thomas went down to the taller, longer reaching Tasmania's Will Francoom. He still earned a silver medal from his efforts however.

Meanwhile, Central Queensland Mixed Martial Arts club sent four boxers to the nationals and they also experienced a successful weekend, with Orion Brown (51kg) and Ben Mulvihill (60kg) winning silver medals.

In just his ninth fight, Matt McLeod defeated a five-time Australian champion Dean Thomas with over 70 fights under his belt, and went onto win gold in the 67kg division.

The club's other gold medal came from Shari Ranger, 31, who made her comeback this year after a six-year hiatus.

Ranger returned to boxing in September and was seemingly back to her best when she beat Brisbane's Courtney Kingston to win gold in the 63.5kg category.

For more boxing, see page 29.

Nationals Medal Tally

Rockhampton PCYC: Gold 3; Silver 1; Bronze 1

CQMMA: Gold 2; Silver 2

Topics:  des upton rockhampton

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