AFTER 17 years of guiding the careers of Bendigo’s up-and-coming boxers, Frank Pianto is shaping up for a new challenge.
The long-time mentor bid farewell to Bendigo on Thursday and will take up the role as head coach at Eastside Boxing Gym in Brisbane.
It is the fulfilment of a long-held ambition for the 40-year-old to train boxers full-time.
Pianto, who trained multiple national, state and Golden Gloves champions while in Bendigo, said the opportunity to become head coach at one of Queensland’s biggest boxing gyms was too good to pass up.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of establishing an amateur and professional boxing team from scratch,” he said.
“Boxing is not a sport where many coaches have the privilege to coach full-time.
“Seventeen years in Bendigo has been a long time and I have done it holding down full-time employment.
“At times it has even cost me money; taking fighters away interstate and overseas.
“The money and the opportunity are too good to knock back.
“It’s been a dream of mine to go full-time and now that chance has come.”
Pianto said his departure had come with a tinge of sadness, but a priority before his departure was to ensure his stable of boxers were left in capable hands.
Jared Kum Too, who won dual national amateur titles under Pianto, Christian Fry and masters champion Garry Austin will pick up from where Pianto left off in Bendigo.
“It was obviously a hard decision to leave what I’ve built …. and there’s still some solid amateurs here I will be leaving behind,” he said.
“But by the same token it’s that opportunity to coach full-time.
“I’m really looking forward to building some solid relationships and learning from high-level coaches.
“No coach knows everything and some of the guys up in Queensland are world-class, so I am looking forward to tapping into their experience.”
It’s been a dream of mine to coach full-time and now that chance has come.Frank Pianto
The move north puts the lid on a remarkable 12 months for Pianto, who was an assistant coach with the Australian team at the World Youth Boxing Championships in Budapest in August.
While in Hungary he also gained his AIBA star-two accreditation, becoming one of only about a dozen coaches in Australia to have attained the qualification.
His protégé Jake May captured his third state championship in three years in February and followed up with a silver medal at the national championships in Perth.
The 16-year-old went on to win the 52kg junior open division at New Zealand’s Golden Gloves Championships in his first bout on foreign soil.
Pianto will waste little time in getting down to work in Brisbane, and will report for duty at Eastside on Thursday afternoon, an hour or two after stepping off the plane.
He will also offer personal training sessions for individuals and sporting and corporate groups in Brisbane as part of his role.
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