Boxing: Golden Gloves win has inspired teen to aim high
BOXING: Hard work has reaped the ultimate reward for Rockhampton's Coby Campbell.
The 16-year-old dominated his opponent to score a unanimous points decision in the 54kg division at the Sunstate Amateur Boxing League Golden Gloves tournament in Townsville.
It was the first major win for Campbell, who started competitive boxing 12 months ago.
He has now won five of his nine fights and has his sights firmly set on qualifying for the national titles in NSW in September.
"I'm really proud of this win. I've worked really hard for it,” Campbell said.
"It is the best one so far.”
Campbell was one of five Rockhampton PCYC boxers who made the trip north for the competition.
Two others tasted victory, with Drayden Marou beating clubmate Jamaal Smith in the 60kg division, and Sidney Booth getting the better of northern rival Daniel Burns in the intermediate division.
Rayden Nichols fought well, only to be beaten by a more experienced opponent on a points decision in the 67kg division.
Coach Des Upton said it was another strong showing from his talented contingent, who are now preparing for this weekend's Hervey Bay PCYC Open Tournament.
Upton said Campbell put in a polished performance.
"That was Coby's best fight so far,” he said.
"He's a very smart fighter. He's got good, fast hands and he hits pretty hard.
"He gets in and really has a go, and he doesn't take a backward step.”
Upton said Campbell was a hard worker who gave his all at training and in the ring.
His strength and stamina was on display in his commanding victory over Mareeba's Matt Carroll on Saturday night.
Campbell was pleased with how he maintained the intensity in all three rounds.
"I tried to start strong in the first round, giving him the eight count twice with some hard body shots,” he said.
"He managed to keep going though so in the second round I kept the pressure on him with lots of hard, straight punches.
"I knew I was on top going into the third so just needed to keep my footwork going to avoid his punches and connect with a few good ones to make sure I had the win.”
Campbell has clearly found his sporting niche, and thrives on the discipline and commitment that boxing demands.
"I was looking for a sport and tried a few things out but nothing really stuck. When I started boxing it just really suited me,” he said.
"I really like travelling around to new places with my mates and getting to know and watch some of the state's best fighters in action.
"I have a few bouts coming up. My next one is this weekend in Hervey Bay and then two weeks after we go to Bundaberg.
"My aim this year is to make it to the national titles - and hopefully win.”