Four Rockhampton boxers got taste of big time competition
FOUR Rocky boxers - Sam Walker, Billy Evans, Brandon Hughes and Greg Toby - got a taste of the big time at the Australian Amateur Boxing Titles in Sydney over the weekend.
In the knockout tournament over three nights commencing last Thursday and finishing on Saturday, boxers faced interstate opponents over three two-minute rounds, adjudicated by five judges.
Winning boxers progressed to the title fight in their division on Saturday night.
Three Rocky boxers - Walker Evans and Hughes - lost their opening bouts and did not progress.
Toby won his opening bout, but lost his second.
But amazingly, all four Rocky boxers lost their bouts to opponents who went on to win the Australian title in their division.
So the Rocky boys have learned what it takes to win at this level.
In the heavyweight class, Walker lost his first and only fight late on the Friday night to Jacob Snowden from New South Wales.
Snowden then won the Australian title fight the following evening.
Walker lost his bout on a split points decision - three judges giving it to Snowden, two judges awarding the fight to Walker.
According to Rocky PCYC boxing trainer, Des Upton, Walker got ready too early and didn't have his head right before the fight. But he will be a better boxer for the experience.
"Sam got ready way too early," Upton said.
"He needed to set up camp and relax and settle and wait, as he didn't fight until close to midnight. But he was nervous. He got dressed and prepared way too early, so he was mentally spent - he'd wound himself up by the time the fight came around.
"He thought he would just knock his opponent out. But it doesn't work like that. He will learn a lot from that, because he has the ability to be the Australian champion."
Billy Evans, in the under-17, 54 kilo class, fought and lost to the eventual Australian champion in that division, Vaughan Stamm from Victoria, on Thursday night.
"That was the best fight of the night," Upton said.
"Billy fought really well, but he got a bit tired in the last round. The other boxer was a very strong fighter and he went on to win the title."
Greg Toby turned 14 on Friday and he gave himself a great birthday present, defeating Dakota Gittus from Tasmania with a unanimous points victory in his first fight.
Incredibly, Toby had no opponents in his under-15, 63.5 kilo class, so he bravely stepped up to the 67 kilo class to win this fight.
He lost his second bout on a split points decision to Thomas Barker from Tasmania. Again, Barker went on to win the Australian title.
"He could have won that fight," Upton said.
"But he didn't do enough in the last round."
And Brandon Hughes, who fought on Thursday in the under-17, 63.5 kilo class, was up against a quality opponent in Shannon Davey, from NSW.
"They are very strict and Brandon had a bit of blood from the nose so the fight was stopped in the second round," Upton said.
"I am glad they did."