THE Corner Inlet Boxing Club hosted a highly successful competition sparring and training weekend at their Leongatha headquarters last weekend to Christen the new full size boxing ring imported recently.
And what a great sporting weekend it turned out to be.
Not only did the club welcome young amateur fighters from all over Victoria; from clubs including neighbouring Bass Coast, and the likes of Bendigo, Warrnambool, Wallan, Officer, Doveton and more.
But they also hosted several top-line Australian pro-boxers as well including Ibi Bella, Jye Alexander and recent WBA Oceania title winner, New Zealand born Cherneka Johnston, who now makes her home in Warrnambool.
The top boxers were all very complimentary of the training arrangements at Leongatha and also of the new ring which they put to the test in some serious training session, much to the delight of the young, up and coming local boxers who got the chance to see the good figheters’ technique close up in some absorbing sparring bouts.
One of the locals to impress was Charles Joma of the Bass Coast Boxing Club who got the chance to step up his training early in the year ahead of some exciting challenges for him in 2018.
“I’m looking at the Elite State Titles later in the year and we’ve got my name down for an event in February,” said Charles who is able to fight in two weight divisions, 69kg and 75kg, depending on the opportunities that present themselves.
One of the promising pro-boxers who really caught the eye was New Zealand born Cherneka Johnson, still in top fighting condition after taking the vacant WBA Bantam Weight title in a thrilling bout in her adopted home town of Warrnambool on December 9 last year.
Here’s what a World Boxing Association Oceania publication had to say about the battle: “New Zealand born fighter Cherneka Johnson became our newest female champion winning the vacant WBA Oceania Bantamweight title by unanimous decision over Gretel de Paz from Philippines. Local girl Johnson from Warnambool managed to stay composed against the aggressive de Paz and win 80-73 on two of the judges’ scorecards and 78-74 on the other. This was a very competitive fight which would more than enhance Cherneka’s fights in the future as the challenger was a worthy opponent and gave a good account of herself. Johnson has a big future and with a world ranking now beckoning, hopefully we will see this great talent fight for the ultimate prize in the not too distant future.”
It’s a big rap but locals got the chance to see close up why she has impressed good judges with her efforts to date.
“This is my first week back in training after that but we’ve had the call up for a big event coming up soon,” said Cherneka.
“I just started out in a fitness gym doing a bit of boxing to keep fit and there was a guy there, a former boxer who thought I showed a bit of promise and it just went from there. It’s great I love it.”
Cherneka now trains at the renowned Boxing Gym of Rudy Ryan and is delighted with the support she is receiving from the community there.
She was complimentary of the facilities at Leongatha and the effort being put in to provide local boxers, especially the youngsters with a great opportunity.
The local organisers of the weekend couldn’t have been happier with the event’s success.
“It’s been fantastic. Great to see so many visiting clubs represented and also for the pros to come down. Everyone got a lot out of it,” said a spokesman for the club Brad Anderson.
“We’ve had a really busy day here today, it’s been excellent,” he said, ahead of the Sunday run to conclude a weekend of training.
And the flash, new boxing ring – it was a knockout!
Knockout weekend to open new boxing ring