BENDIGO boxing trainer Danniel Burton says his star youngster Tully Scanlon has "gold on his mind" as he heads to the Bahamas for the World Youth Commonwealth Games.
Burton has left no stone unturned in preparing the two-time national amateur champion for the biggest challenge of his still young fighting career.
"His preparation has been well above that of the national titles in April," he said.
"It was hard to set up sparring interstate before nationals as you could be competing against those fighters.
"Now that’s done everyone has opened their gyms up to help Tully out."
Scanlon, 17, has spent dozens of hours travelling to Melbourne to spar and train with former world championships representative Josh Kiel.
At 60kg, the lightweight is 8kg heavier than Scanlon.
"His coach and Australian assistant for the Youth Commonwealth Games coach Kel Bryant was able to really focus on some of Tully's areas and apply pressure like nobody has in the past," Burton said.
"That really lifted Tully to iron a few things out."
This was supplemented by two days of intense sparring at the Sutherland Police Citizens Youth Club in Sydney, where Scanlon was matched against five 52-60kg youth and elite fighters.
One of them, Josh Fitzpatrick will be Scanlon's teammate in the Bahamas, competing in the 56kg division.
Burton said Fitzpatrick had given his boxer some of the hardest rounds of sparring Scanlon had endured.
"He (Tully) has an unbelievable high work rate. He might get out muscled in the earlier part of the round sparring bigger men, but when they start to fatigue Tully keeps going and that's a testament to his dedication," he said.
"He never turns the switch off, and stays close to his weight, so he never has to calorie reduce and always has plenty of fuel.
"Tully has been training twice a day with me, with strength and conditioning in the morning and skill work at night as well as getting his own road work.
"Now it's just a balancing act keeping him hungry."
Scanlon flew to Brisbane on Friday for a two-day training camp, before heading to the Bahamas on Sunday.
The Girton Grammar year-11 student said he was feeling confident about his chances.
“No matter what I am going to give it 100 per cent and it’s going to be an experience in itself,” he said.
“I’m definitely not going over there to lose.”
With the stadium boasting a capacity of 2100 people, Scanlon said he did not expect to be fazed by the big crowd.
“Obviously I am going to get a little bit nervous, but nerves don’t affect me,” he said.
“I find that I have a bit more anticipation than nerves, so I am looking forward to the big stage and the crowd because I can show them what I’ve been training so hard for.
“I can’t wait.”
The Youth Commonwealth Games run from July 18-23.