THE countdown to the Youth Commonwealth Games has begun in earnest for Bendigo boxer Tully Scanlon.
In a month's time, Scanlon will be in the Bahamas going for gold at the sixth edition of the youth games.
His games debut will come nearly three months to the day since the 17-year-old won his second straight gold medal at the Australian Youth and Junior Boxing Championships in Adelaide.
But it has been a less than ideal preparation for Scanlon, according to his trainer Danniel Burton, from the Hit Factory gym in Golden Square.
With a pair of national titles and one silver medal under his belt, securing bouts for Scanlon had proved impossible.
"We have tried to get match ups all over the country but everyone has been reluctant to take a fight," Burton said.
"We will travel, give away age, home town advantage and experience but can't secure anyone.
"So we are relying on treating all sparring sessions as fights keeping them to three-to-four rounds and we have lined up some tough competition every week until he takes off."
When he competes in the Bahamas, Scanlon will be the first Bendigo boxer to represent Australia since Lyndon Hosking and Justin Whitehead did at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Ironically, Scanlon's final lead-up fight to the national titles in April came a month earlier on an amateur show promoted by Hosking and Hosking Promotions group at Melbourne's Olympic Park Function Centre.
The former Olympian and 1998 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said Scanlon had a bright future in boxing.
"He has heaps of ability and a lot of natural talent and he's still only very young," Hosking said.
"(The Commonwealth Youth Games) will do a lot for his development, these sorts of tournaments weren't around when I was younger, we stepped straight into seniors, so it's a great opportunity.
"At that age group, elite kids are very hard to match and really struggle to get fights.
"The first of our shows he was one (of the elite fighters), we had kids from all over Australia come and fight."
Hosking, who represented Australia at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, said he was thrilled to see another Bendigo boxer at Commonwealth level.
"I am sure he will go well, he's a good young kid and has a good nature about him, he said.
"I know he trains hard and works hard, he'll do fine."