Boxer to take on national challenge
NOW with a Victorian youth champion title under his belt, Wonthaggi boxer Charles Joma is bound for nationals in April.
The 17 year old earned his place on the Victorian state team after coming up against the current Australian champion Kane Gipp in Brunswick in the semi-final on February 19.
“It was a tough fight and Charles went up a weight. He is now fighting as a 69 kilogram youth,” coach Scott Williamson said.
Charles came up against former Australian champion Mitch King in the final.
“He was fighting the best and won on points,” Scott said.
“Charles and Mitch will both go to nationals. We aren’t going in as second best.”
Prior to the finals, Charles fought in Adelaide. Coming up against undefeated Oscar Bloomfield, he won every round unanimously.
“He has fought hard and tough to get to where he is,” Scott said.
“Now we will be focusing on getting him ready for nationals, which will be held in Adelaide in the first week of April.”
Should Charles be successful at the nationals, he will qualify for the Worlds, which will be held in Barbados.
“Worlds would be a massive opportunity, and it’s not far out of his reach,” Scott said.
Charles has been training with Wonthaggi Boxing Club for the past four years, and it has become a lifestyle for him.
His goal is to take on as many bouts as possible to turn professional before he is 21 or go to the Olympics in 2020.
“He trains most nights and we push him to do a bit extra like getting out of bed to go for a run, even if it’s only for 10 minutes,” Scott said.
“It’s about mentally toughening up as much as it is physical. If he’s out there, rain or shine, he already has an edge over his opponent.”
Charles has also started swimming every Wednesday at the YMCA with a few members of the boxing club.
“I enjoy it. It’s starting to come as habit for me,” Charles said.
“I got into boxing because of a friend and now I’m wanting to see how far I can take it. Being able to go to something like the Olympics would mean a lot to me.”
Scott said boxing has inspired healthy lifestyles and confidence in the members, including Charles.
“There’s a lot of stuff involved and it’s all good experience,” Scott said.
“With Charles, we will be looking to get as many fights under his belt as possible. He’s made a big turnaround with his lifestyle choices and he’s got a good chance of going far.”
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