EAGLEHAWK’S Danny Taggert has taken a significant step towards achieving his goal of boxing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games by winning at the Golden Gloves tournament in Brisbane.
Fighting in the 60kg division for the first time, Taggert scored an 18-5 victory in his first bout and then followed up with a third-round stoppage in the final.
The three-day tournament in Acacia Ridge drew 420 boxers and was the biggest amateur boxing event in Australia since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Taggert and North Bendigo-based trainer Frank Pianto were amazed by how big the event was.
“We knew there were teams from New Zealand and the United Kingdom heading across, but 249 bouts across three days was incredible,” said Pianto.
“Because it was such a big program, Danny’s fights became three by two-minute rounds.”
Taggert fought in the division for fighters with experience of 15 bouts or less.
After a first-round bye, Taggert lined up for the 15th bout of his career.
He scored an 18-5 win against Brandon Wheeler from the Kosta Tszyu Academy.
The final against Ben Denico, from the ACT, was to be one of the best in Taggert’s career.
He led 12-8 after two rounds.
“Halfway through the third round, Danny caught Denico with a right-hand,’’ Pianto said.
“Denico was forced back on the ropes and Danny unleashed 15 unanswered punches. The referee then stopped the contest.”
Taggert’s unbeaten run this year is now at 10, with his career tally at 12-4.
“This win is the biggest in my career,” Taggert said as he glanced at the gloves with his name emblazoned in gold on them.
“Scoring was different to what I’m used to.
“Punches have to be really accurate to score. After the first fight my confidence was up.
“Frank and I had put a lot of work in to improve my technique, fitness and strength.
“There is still a lot to improve, but I am keen to work as hard as I can,” said the 21-year-old, who is a butcher when not boxing.
Taggert and Pianto said sparring with the Melbourne-based Andrew and Jason Moloney, who won the 56kg and 60kg A-class finals at the Golden Gloves played a big part in his success in Brisbane.
Taggert won the Victorian Amateur Boxing League 64kg title in 2011 and there are more fights in store.
His campaign in the next few months includes the national titles in Mackay in late October, and state titles in early November in Geelong.
A long-term goal is the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Should Taggert earn selection, he will join Bendigo boxing greats Lynden Hosking, Justin Whitehead, Billy Fry and the late Des Duguid as an Australian representative.