BENDIGO boxing trainer Pat Connolly believes youngster Dino Rafaeles has a bright future ahead of him after an impressive win at the weekend.
Rafaeles was a part of the successful Victorian team who competed in the Bass Straight Boxing Challenge in Hobart.
Teams from Tasmania and Victoria went toe-to-toe in the boxing ring in the annual competition.
Victoria was successful, regaining the trophy.
Connolly, who is involved with the Bendigo Amateur Boxing Club, said it was a great achievement for Rafaeles.
“He is a very talented boxer, with great natural ability,” he said.
“It was the first time he had travelled with a Victorian team, it was the first time I allowed one of my boxers to travel without me and he did a really great job.
"He is getting the confidence in himself, he is realising his ability."
Rafaeles has only fought in three bouts this year, winning all three.
“In all three of his fights he has fought people above his weight division and won,” Connolly said.
“I am very pleased with how he is going so far, he is a brilliant talent.”
The 22-year-old made the Victorian team after a spot opened up in his weight division.
Connolly said the state coaches took a chance on him after after he showed some promise in his earlier bouts.
He said coaches were impressed by his ability in Tasmania.
"He stepped up," Connolly said.
Connolly said he was hoping to schedule a few bouts for Rafaeles in Bendigo before the boxer prepared for the state trials which will be held in November.