THE Wonthaggi Boxing Club is continuing to produce good results around the state with a host of young and enthusiastic boxers looking to step into the ring. Among the regular trainers showing promise at the gym are Korumburra duo Nathan Allen and Poaki Ahokava. The recently turned 18 year-old Allen just fought in his third fight for his second win at the Victorian Amateur Boxing Association in Brunswick. “It was a good win. I got knocked down half way through the second round with a left hook – I didn’t see it,” he said. “It was the first time I’d been knocked down, my legs went and it felt a bit weird but I got up to win which was a good feeling.”
Weighing in at 59.5kg for the 60kg fight, Allen’s opponent came in at 62.5kg, prompting trainer Scott Williamson to question the fight. “I don’t like it. You have to look after him and we were going to call it off, but Nathan was itching and I said it was up to him,” Williamson said. “He trained hard, but gave away 2kg which is probably what dropped him. It’s enough to do the difference. But he still took it out even though the bloke was five years older. “He has a lot of potential if he keeps going and puts in the work.” Allen will now take a short layoff from the ring but will maintain his training while he plays football finals with the Korumburra-Bena thirds. “I have footy finals this month but hopefully I’ll be back in straight after that. I’m enjoying every bit of it,” he said. Weighing in at 103kg, 14 year-old Poaki Ahokava was set to make his amateur fight debut recently but his opponent failed to turn up.
But all was not lost, with Ahokava getting in the ring with a professional, Joel Shackelton, for an exhibition bout. “He trained hard for it, we turned up, waited around for it for half an hour but his opponent didn’t come and we were shattered,” Williamson said. “But Joel Shackelton was there, he has had four pro fights and four wins, is 85kg and a lot taller than Poaki. He said ‘don’t waste your time, we’ll do an exhibition bout’, where there isn’t a winner but you still give it a go and get used to the crowd. “I said he can take a punch, and he goes alright. He gave him a bit in the end and after the fight Joel was very impressed and said Poaki just kept coming forward at him. Poaki pleased a lot of people.” From that fight, Ahokava booked himself a fight at the end of the month in Bendigo where he will take on a 15 year-old in a similar weight class. “He will have a fight up there if they don’t pull out.
He hits hard so they are a bit worried – they have already heard,” Williamson said. “We went over to Moe a couple of weeks ago and he was in the ring with a 25 year-old who was 126kg and he dropped him with a body shot in the first minute. We’re going to push him really hard now.” Ahokava has been training on average around four nights a week to be ready and he said he is looking forward to the Bendigo bout. “I’ve been here probably a year. I always loved boxing and Dad used to be a boxer as well,” he said. “I was a little nervous but once you are in the ring you just go. I’m really excited. It’s been a long time coming. I just love it.” For Williamson, it’s all about watching and helping the kids like Allen and Ahokava progress. “You never know. Hopefully, but this time next year we might have a couple of state champs – we will see how we go,” he said. You can check out video and updates from the Wonthaggi Boxing Club’s Facebook page.