WONTHAGGI boxer Charles Joma did his town proud on the national stage, reaching the final of the Australian Youth Titles and ultimately winning a silver medal.
The 17 year-old lost on a split points decision to Queensland’s Benjamin Hussain, after fighting his way through two fights to make the final at the Morphettville Pavilion in Adelaide.
Despite the loss, his coach Scott Williamson was proud of his efforts on the big stage.
“We were hoping to get gold, but we came home number two in Australia. It was good, tough fight,” he said.
“I said to him whether he wins or loses, I’m 100 per cent proud of where he’s got to. It’s still a big thing.
“In a whole year, his accomplishments have been great. He’s had the Golden Gloves, the state title and then fighting for the Australian title – that’s just massive.
“It’s his first nationals, it’s a very big experience and very hard to go up and win in your first nationals. There’s a lot of stress, you’re away from your normal trainer and away from people you know.”
Joma turns 18 shortly and will be in the elite category next year, fighting against adults.
Williamson said he will be aiming for Commonwealth Games selection at the end of the year in Melbourne.
“He’ll be up against guys who have had 20 to 30 fights and they’re all over 19, and he’s had 22 fights,” he said.
“It’s worth giving it a go. The Commonwealth Games are next year at the Gold Coast and if he makes it through the selections he’s on his way there.”