ROCKY BOXERS: Trainers Merv Stewart and Des Upton with their PCYC boxers Sam Walker, Brandon Hughes, Greg Toby and Billy Evans are in Sydney for the National Titles.
ROCKY BOXERS: Trainers Merv Stewart and Des Upton with their PCYC boxers Sam Walker, Brandon Hughes, Greg Toby and Billy Evans are in Sydney for the National Titles. Allan Reinikka Rokaboxing

Rocky boxers hit the big time at amateur National Titles

FOUR of Rocky's best boxers from the Rockhampton PCYC are in Sydney today and tonight, tomorrow and Saturday they will compete at the amateur boxing Australian Titles at the Marrickville Town Hall.

Big Sam Walker in the open heavyweight division is joined by Brandon Hughes in the under 17, 63.5 kilo class, Billy Evan in the under 17, 54 kilo class and Greg Toby in the under 15, 63.5 kilo class.

According to head trainer Des Upton, all four boxers have a chance of doing well, but Sam Walker is a real shot of taking out his first amateur national boxing championship, despite limited preparation.

"Sam has trained really well and is in peak condition," Upton said.

"It has been difficult to get him high quality bouts in preparation but I don't think this will be a factor. I am not sure of his opponents yet, but I know the fighter he beat earlier this year in Hobart is here.

"I reckon Sam is the best chance, but all of them can do well if they fight to their potential. It depends on who they come up against and also how they fight on the night."

It remains to be seen how many opponents will weigh in for each of the Rocky boxers' division, but if there are more than four then each boxer will have to fight and win over three nights to reach the final on Saturday evening.

"If there are four in a division, then each boxer will fight three times," Upton explained.

"The top two will then contest the final. If there are more than four then boxers might have to have fight twice in a night."

The bouts will consist of three, two-minute rounds and will be adjudicated by three judges.

"Young Greg Toby will also be hard to beat," Upton explained.

"He is having a bit of trouble making weight. He just keeps growing. At Wednesday's weigh-in at training he was 64 kilos, just 500 grams over.

"But I am sure we will get him down to correct weight in time. He hasn't had a feed since leaving Rocky, so he will be hungry at dinner tonight," Upton said yesterday.

Upton has been around boxing long enough to know it is a mental sport.

"Nerves play a big part," Upton said.

"If these boys can control their nerves it will go a long way to how well they perform.

"Billy is our most experienced boxer, he has been here before so he knows this."

But it is Brandon Hughes, who has a powerful punch, who needs to develop a killer instinct.

"Brandon is a bit gentle in the ring," Upton said.

He hits hard, but once he does he eases up. He needs to develop a bit of mongrel."



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