Three rising stars from All Star Boxing Academy in Lawnton are aiming to reign in Spain next month.
Jye Dixon, Craig Evers and Aaron Grealey have been selected an Australian team of eight for the IBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Championships.
All three booked their places by winning gold at the Australian Under 19 Championships in July, when Grealey was also named men’s boxer of the tournament.
The trio flew to Thailand last month for a training camp, working with National Coach Jamie Pittman and Technical Director Santiago Nieva among others.
Now they are all counting down to the world titles in La Nucia on November 14-26.
Dixon, who is 17, will fight in the 48kg section; Evers, 17, in the 56kg class and Grealey, 16, is entered at 60kg.
Paul Utia, the All Star Boxing Academy Head Coach of Amateurs, said the main gain for the teenagers would be sporting experience.
“It would be a bonus but, based on all the hard work they put in, I believe they also have a good chance of coming back with medals,” he said.
“Over there, they will be exposed to international opponents, (boxers) with different styles from different countries.
“But in Thailand they had a pretty intense camp,” added Utia, one of the travelling coaches, “four days of comp sparring, when some of the boys had to step up to elite level.”
Highlight ... so far
Grealey, from North Lakes, said the trip to the Alicante region of Spain would be the highlight of his career, “so far”.
“It was a huge highlight to win an Australian title,” said the North Lakes resident, “but so far this (world titles) is the most credible thing I’ve done.
“If you aim for anything less than gold (at the world titles) there’s no point going.
“It’s a two-week competition, it will be mentally and physically tiring, but we’ve got the preparation for it and should be able to perform well.”
Grealey admitted the trip was “constantly” on his mind. “I wake up in the morning and train for it, train night-time and I’m asked about it at school,” he said.
Jye Dixon, from Brendale, is “very excited”. “It’s going to be a really good trip,” he said.
“Looking forward to getting over there and seeing what the other athletes and top level opponents are like.”
Like his team-mate, Dixon is aiming for “nothing but gold”. “We’re putting in a lot of work and I hope it pays off in the end,” he said.
“We always train hard. Now we’re tweaking little things to get everything ready.”
Craig Evers, who lives in South Brisbane but is a member of All Star Boxing Academy, said this would be the highlight of his career.
“I was shocked when I first heard I’d been selected,” he said, “it will be good to go with Aaron and Jye.
“I’m training hard (for the world youth titles) and want to win gold, but at the same time I try to push it to the back of my mind and not keep thinking about it, yet.”
Evers started boxing when he was nine and living on Palm Island. His love of the sport continued when he moved to Brisbane.
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