By Kirra Grimes
MEMBERS of the Leongatha-based Corner Inlet Boxing Club had the chance to put their skills to the test on the world stage on a recent trip to North America.
Accompanied by coach Scott Bindloss, young boxers Tyler Bindloss, Jarvis Bindloss and Lachlan Lewis travelled to Ontario, Canada at the beginning of February to compete in the country’s largest amateur boxing tournament, the Brampton Cup, an annual event drawing over 250 junior, youth and elite boxers from 60 plus boxing clubs.
Competing in the 75kg open elite class, 19-year-old Tyler, in his first fight in two years, put in an impressive effort against a four-time Canadian national champion with 76 fights under his belt.
Lachlan, 15, came away with a gold medal after his fight in the 52kg junior category.
But 16-year-old Jarvis returned home with a less desirable souvenir after his fight in the 60kg youth section. He was headbutted, resulting in an injury to his face that required six stitches.
The boys also visited New York City as part of the trip, getting in a bit of sightseeing and training alongside world champion boxers at the famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
Scott, who’s had plenty of experience attending international boxing events as a coach and team manager, said the aim of the trip was to take the up and coming Corner Inlet boxers’ skills to the next level, with a spot at the world titles the ultimate goal.
“For them to be competitive on the world stage, the best way to develop their skills is to take them out and compete wherever we can,” Scott said after touching down back in Australia last week.
“This was their first taste of international competition and I’m very happy with how they performed.
“They were all very competitive and presented themselves really well.
“Tyler had a really tough opponent – a super sharp boxer who’s represented Canada at the world championships. It was a hard fight but he wasn’t far off him.
“Jarvis was winning his fight when he got headbutted and it was unfortunate that they awarded the win to his opponent. But all the boys had a ball.”
Scott hopes to take a bigger group from South Gippsland to the Brampton tournament next year, including female boxers Grace Patterson and Kinesha Anderson, who he said were destined for big things.
“This year we went as the ‘guinea pigs’ and we were welcomed with open arms,” Scott said.
“The local boxing clubs in Ontario went above and beyond to accommodate us, so we’ve got some really good friends and contacts over there now.
“I’d love to take a group of 10 or 20 boxers next time and give them the exposure they need to get to world championship level.
“Raising the funds is always the challenge but we had a lot of community support to get there this time.”