Big test for Upton's chargers
IN THE fight game it is either quiet or full-on and for PCYC trainer Des Upton and his boxing troupe the next three weeks fit perfectly into the second category.
This weekend there will be at least eight fighters hitting the road for a tournament at Emerald for one of their easier trips.
However, after that it is the gruelling journey to Palm Island at which Upton hopes to take at least five of his fighters.
Upton might view the journey to Palm Island as exhausting, with the long bus ride to Townsville, an overnight stop and wait for the ferry and then two hours by boat, but it is a trip he feels necessary as the Palm Island Boxing Club, and its trainer/mentor Ray Dennis, make it almost every week.
A lot has been written about Dennis who has worked for over a decade with the Aboriginal community on Palm Island to build the boxing club and make it one of the most successful in the state.
During that time he has brought through a multitude of fighters, male and female, who have progressed to a state title.
“Ray is a legend, they love him over there,” Upton said.
Usually Dennis has a strong group of fighters in his care and Upton hopes the veteran trainer will have his best group of boxers at Emerald and then is able to back up in two weekends' time when the PCYC hosts a tournament at Rockhampton.
Upton said the Rockhampton tournament would be held at the PCYC on September 3 and he hoped for good representation from Chinchilla, Yeppoon, Mackay, Emerald, Roma as well as Palm Island.
The input from Palm Island could be critical this weekend as Upton said, on Tuesday evening at training, he had only one confirmed contest.
The boxer who knows who he will meet is Robbie Walters. He will face Emerald fighter Matt Grant in a return bout after the pair met at the last tournament held at North Rockhampton High School.
“Robbie won that one and I reckon he'll beat that bloke again,” Upton said.
Walters, who fights in the 63.5kg division, certainly looked sharp at training where he was giving the punching bag a severe working over and has the power in his fists to wear down an opponent.
The other PCYC boxers to travel to Emerald on Saturday include Kuany Kutah, Brydon Hume, Harley Broom, Brenton Jackson, Lachlan Hinchliffe, Ben Bowes, Dan Withers, Lincoln Martin and possibly Naz Ryan.