THE Wonthaggi Boxing Club has capped off a great year with a number of standout performances recently.
After winning the Golden Gloves in Brisbane, Charles Joma was invited to fight before the Daniel Geale under card world title fight at Tasmania recently.
In front of a crowd of 3000 people, Charles fought one of Sydney’s best amateur fighters out of his weight division in the 69kg division.
He won unanimously and his aim now is to win the Youth State title in February and be selected for the Nationals in April.
Mick Cunningham, 20, joined the club in the last few months and has quickly made a name for himself.
He fought in New Zealand recently, where he overcame a two-time New Zealand Golden Gloves champ and former New Zealand champ.
Coach Scott Williamson said Mick has shown improvement since joining the club.
“He didn’t really have much of left jab when he came to the gym which I didn’t like, so we’ve worked on that a lot,” he said.
“It’s a big improvement. Without the jab I don’t think he would have won the fight. He was using the jab and setting up the fight.
“He fought in Adelaide the week before and won on a technical knockout in the first round which was good. Hopefully he’ll stick with us and put in the hard yards.”
Poaki Ahokava also fought in New Zealand, stepping up to the elite category without head gear.
He was under the impression he would be fighting against an opponent in the low 80kg, so he worked hard to lose 8kg and fight at 85kg.
Arriving in New Zealand, he found his opponent was in fact at 91kg but decided to take up the fight, despite giving away six kilos.
Scott said he battled valiantly during the fight.
“He got hurt early, but he recovered well and then ended up losing the fight on points,” he said.
Another new member to the gym, Cape Paterson’s Beau Ross, competed in his first fight in Tasmania recently.
“He won on a split points decision which was great for him, especially in his first fight and fighting interstate which can be tough,” Scott said.
“That’s got him going and now he’ll be geed up to have a few fights.”
Phillip Island 17-year-old Liam Emile lost on a split-points decision in Tasmania, but Scott said he quickly worked on his errors in the gym.
“It was a great fight but he did a fair few things wrong which we worked on within a week,” he said.
“He went to Adelaide and won the fight unanimously. It was a good turnaround within a week and how much he progressed in that week was amazing.”
The Wonthaggi Boxing Club wrapped up its year with a visit to the Melbourne Tennis Centre for a pro fight night by Hosking Promotions.
Regional clubs were invited to spar against other fighters from across the state during the day then watching the pro fights at night.
The club will have a break for Christmas shortly and will reopen in mid-January.
Scott is hoping to host a fundraising sparring day at the gym with visiting regional clubs.
Joma leads the way as boxing booms