MILLI Woods has barely turned 17, but she is already a two-time national boxing champion.
The Catherine McAuley College student capped another stellar year in the boxing ring by winning her second national title on the Gold Coast in October.
An emphatic performance by the Bendigo teenager, who trains under the guidance of Danniel Burton at the Hit Factory Boxing gym in Golden Square, ended with a second round stoppage and another gold medal.
This year was her first at youth level, with Woods stepping, up to three three-minute rounds from three two minute rounds.
Burton, a Victorian state team coach, said while an extra minute per round did not sound like much, 'at the tempo these kids' box at is taxing'.
"So it was important to and get as many three times three-minute- bouts as possible in preparation for nationals," he said.
"I knew Milli had the right frame of mind and was keen take on fighters that were a lot more experienced and would be tougher, and face the possibility of losing rather than having an easy fight that would just put a win in her record book.
"Milli comfortably makes her fight weight of 48 kilograms, but finding suitable opponents her age was hard so we were able to get clearance for her to fight up at elite level (adult age), but nobody was prepared to take on the young charge willing to fight up a level.
"So, we called out the next weight division up also. Milli gave away over 10 years in age, 20 plus fights in experience and up to 4kgs in weight to get matches. She fought at elite level and at 51kg four times for the year only losing once."
Woods, who was part of a 40-member Victorian team on the Gold Coast, was again forced to step-up a level when her opponent at 48kgs pulled out of the tournament.
But the then 16-year-old responded with her trademark vigour and determination to snare a second national title win and first at youth level.
"On the day of the final she only just weighed over the bottom end of the 48-51 kg limit, so we knew we would be giving away a few kilograms," he said.
"Milli's boxing was perfect, it was one of the first times I got to sit back and just enjoy watching the bout. She was changing things up before I could even shout out.
"I sat back with my corner man, I remember saying 'she is on fire; she will stop her'.
"She gave her opponent two standing eight counts in the first round and two more eight counts in the second round with the referee calling an end to the bout."
A hectic new year for Woods is expected to include a shot at a third national title and a tilt at the youth world championships.
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