A 12-YEAR-OLD from Bendigo, with less than 12 months boxing experience, has been crowned a Victorian Golden Gloves champion.
Sam Kay, who trains at the Hit Factory under Australian under-age team coach Danniel Burton, defeated Craigieburn fighter Blair Garraway in last weekend’s final.
He was one of two boxers from Burton’s Golden Square-based gym to land Golden Gloves titles on the weekend, with 15-year-old Tynan Waugh earning the lightweight (60km) crown.
Kay’s bout at the Italian Sports Club in Werribee was his in-ring debut.
Burton praised the determination and strong work ethic of the grade six student from Girton Grammar, who had rarely missed a session, while training five sessions per week.
“He was very determined to compete at the very start when he joined,” Burton said of his latest title winner.
“We took him to a couple of regional sparring days and he was hooked.
“He is focused and takes something from every sparring session and knows what he has to work on and adapts quickly.
“To get the bout we had to come up a little in weight as well as giving away 1.5 kilograms on the day.
“It doesn’t sound much when you are 90kg, but at 44kg it is a big difference.”
Burton said he was expecting a tough contest from Garraway, who entered the bout with one previous fight under his belt.
“Our plan was to beat him to it and put the pressure straight back on and Sam did not hesitate,” he said.
“For the three, one and a half minute rounds, Sammy showed his power and put everything in to every shot and was to aggressive and landed many clean shots to win comfortably.”
Waugh earned his title with a hard-fought victory in his three, two-minute rounds battle against Werribee fighter Nathan Fernandez.
“I gathered being from Werribee he (Fernandez) would have the crowd support and he did. That can be tough because you do hear every cheer and taunt the crowd says,” Burton said.
“Tynan’s a very defensive fighter, who likes to sit back and wait for his opponent and counter attack them when they reach in, and he did this perfectly, landing many clean scoring shots.
“The first time jitters definitely had an effect on Tynan with him being fatigued towards the end of the rounds.
“I knew he was a tough kid and had pushed out many rounds in the gym with a lot more experienced guys.
“It was a close fight in the end that could have gone either way, but his accuracy and shot placement determined the judges scoring.”
With only a handful of tournaments left for the year, several of the Hit Factory young crew will be looking to get more matches and continue on to state titles early in 2019.