Aussie debut for All Star duo

Published 12:30pm 22 May 2023

Aussie debut for All Star duo
Words by Nick Crockford

Above: Tahlea Toohey and Paul Utia at the All Star Boxing Academy. Picture: Miles Zalewski

Two teenage boxers from this region are today almost 4000kms away representing Australia for the first time.

Paul (PJ) Utia and Tahlea Toohey, from All Star Boxing Academy in Lawnton, flew out to Samoa yesterday with the national team.

Both are in action over the next four days in the OCBC (Oceania Boxing Confederation) Youth and Junior Oceania Championships.

Utia has been boxing since he was 10 years old. Now 15 he has been selected for the 70-75kg junior section.

Toohey, 18, has been fighting for six years and is in the 60-63kg youth section. She has fought overseas in New Zealand before, but not representing Australia.

Paul Utia Snr, All Star Boxing Academy’s Head Coach of Amateurs, said the level of awaiting the duo was not known.

“I do know both want gold medals,” he said, “in my opinion representing Australia is a great achievement. Anything on top of that is a bonus.

“Being selected (for Australia) is right at the top of their careers, so far. It has always been one of their goals.”

The Oceania Youth and Junior Championships are being held from May 22-25 in the Samoan capital Apia.

Tahlea Toohey and Paul Utia at All Star Boxing Academy. Picture: Miles Zalewski

It is the first time in a number of years that the championships have been held for these age groups. The Australian team in Samoa is:

Female: Elisha Kumar 48-50kg Jnr NSW; Athulya Atapattu 45-48kg Yth VIC; Ciara Storch 54-57kg Yth QLD; Paige Robinson 57-60kg Yth QLD; Tahlea Toohey 60-63kg Yth QLD; Reef Sattler 54-57kg Jnr NSW.

Male: Bosko Misic 57-60kg Jnr VIC; Carter Johnston 63-66kg Jnr NSW; Diyanshu Redhu 66-70kg Jnr VIC; Paul Utia 70-75kg Jnr QLD; Riley Devine +80kg Jnr NSW; Beau Piggott 46-48kg Yth VIC; Jay Keating 48-51kg Yth WA; Sebastian Saulwick 51-54kg Yth VIC; Cohen Robinson 54-57kg Yth QLD; Samuel Whitehead 60-63.5kg Yth NSW; Charlie Kazzi 63.5-67kg Yth NSW; Brandon Pepper 67-71kg Yth SA.

Support Staff: Marcos Amado Head Coach VIC; Mark Evans Assistant Coach QLD; Satinder Kaur Coach/Team Manager NSW; Nicholas Wakefield Team Manager VIC.

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