WONTHAGGI boxing elite and welterweight state champion defender Charles Joma has been training relentlessly leading into the Victorian titles at the Arnold Sports Festival, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, from March 13-15.
‘Prince Charles’ – as he is known around the ring – will be fighting in the 69kg elite welterweight division.
Charles Joma, who works full-time at a Wonthaggi café, has been training up to three hours a day in preparation for his state title defence.
“Most mornings I usually run or swim before work and then train at the gym for a couple of hours in the evening,” said Charles.
He has earnt himself a bounty of titles including being the youth national champion under 19, twice winner of youth Golden Gloves, silver medal at Golden Gloves elite welterweight and many other achievements at home and internationally.
When in the ring against what Charles refers to as ‘hard hitters’ he deals with strong punches by adjusting the aggression and sending it back at his opponent.
Charles travels weekly with his trainer Scott Williamson to train with suburban boxers to hone his technique, sparring with boxers above and below his weight division.
Charles also heads up children’s boxing classes at Bass Coast Boxing in Wonthaggi.
“Training the kids is fun, you get to know some of them and connect, it makes it well worth it when that happens, but it is still hard sometimes. Kids are sometimes reckless, but always fun,” said the recently qualified trainer.
Charles is inspired by many people that are intrinsically involved in his life – including Scott.
“Scott does come across hard at times and comes back with firm advice,” he said.
“Old Pete from the gym too, he’s told me stories of his life and how hard he has worked.
“My parents are a huge inspiration. They’ve come so far and worked so hard to get my family to where we are.
“I find inspiration in a lot of things I guess, it all just helps me to keep working harder.
“I always think of something someone I know has gone through and think ‘I’ve got it good’; and keep persisting,” says the dedicated 19-year-old.
Charles started boxing under coach Scott when he was 14 and fought his first fight at 16.
Charles is likely to turn pro later this year.