Gold Rush for Moranbah at Australian Titles in Hobart!!
"From the Corner" by Coach Mark Janssen
Moranbah Boxing Club boxers Jack Hoffmann, Leo Nicolson and Stuart Wilcox all returned to Moranbah with Gold medals from a
successful trip to the Australian Titles held in Hobart, Tasmania.
First up in the finals for Moranbah was Jack Hoffmann who stepped up to the 13-15 year old age group to take on tough Charters Towers boxer Ben Edmonson. Jack started off well boxing behind his jab and controlling his range while setting up some great combination punching. Ben fired back pinning Jack against the ropes with fast hard power shots which required Jack to dig deep to keep the upper hand. Jack worked his way off the
rope landing some crushing body shots and hard combination punches to take the first round.
Jack came out in the second round where he left of in the first by boxing beautifully and landing some fierce body shots and power shots to the head. Jack was made to work hard to keep on top of Ben who was trying hard to gain some momentum back in his favour. Every time Ben stepped up the heat, Jack was up to the task and came back with hard strong shots.
The third round was another hard paced round with both boys giving it their all. Jacks well placed hooks to the body and power punching combinations enabled him to win a hard fought unanimous decision. I'm so proud of you Jack. It took a lot of heart to step up against an older, strong fighter like Ben. You have unbelievable skill set, great power and determination that can't be beat. Well done Mate. AUSTRALIAN CHAMPION!! How good does that feel! Congratulations also to Ben who put up an awesome effort. Well done!!
Mr Excitement, "The Hitman" Leo Nicolson lived up to his nickname by beating super tough power puncher Brayden Withers. This was their third meeting with both of them sharing a victory each. It was fitting that they were to meet in the final of the Australian titles. Leo was itching for a rematch after losing the State final to Brayden and Brayden was keen to prove his superiority by securing another victory. Brayden was well prepared going to Hobart a week earlier to acclimatise to the cooler weather and leave no stone unturned for his preparation.
Round one started off where their last fight finished off with Brayden on the attack throwing long hard shots at Leo who learned from their previous match that he had to be more patient and control the match on his terms setting up his power shots. Leo worked the first round establishing his distance and finding his range while working on neutralising Brayden's right hand. Brayden caught Leo with a right hand while Leo was off balance at the end of the first round causing the referee to give Leo standing 8 count. Great job by Leo to keep calm after he felt wrong done by coping an 8 count.
Leo continued boxing sharply in the second round setting up beautifully with his jab, when he found the range for a thunderous right hook which sent Brayden crashing to the canvas. Credit to Brayden and his conditioning to be able to drag himself off the floor after being caught so clean. After a long delay Leo continued to apply the pressure and land clean sharp punches forcing another 8 count and visit by the Doctor which brought the end to round two.
Round three saw a continuation of round two with Leo finding a home for his jab and looking for his power shots off it. Leo scored with a huge right hook that impacted with Brayden's shoulder causing a dislocation and the end of the fight. The winner Leo Nicolson now the TWO TIME AUSTRALIAN CHAMP!!!!! Great fight by both boxers, well done, great job. The "Hit Man" is back!!
Last up was "Slick" Stuart Wilcox up against the brilliant Glen McKeown from Tassie. Both boxers made it to the finals doing it the hard way fighting each night of the 3 day tournament. It was great to watch the progress of each contestant with each match. Slick used his usual slick style to out box
his quarter finalist opponent Ant Pope and his semi final opponent Josh Smith.
Slick boxed well picking up point behind his jab while setting up power shots with his right hand and left hooks. Glen McKeown looked sensational in breaking down his first two opponents Queenslander Hayden Hooper and NSW Greg Holden with fast blistering counter punches in 4 and 5 punch combinations. Glen was able to mix his speed, power and angles at will with precise accuracy.
Slick went into the final knowing he had to neutralise Glen's counters and dictate the distance and direction the bout had to be fought at. Slick boxed brilliantly with perfect poise and balance controlling the action with his distance and jab. Slick continued to improve every round of the match landing shots off his jab while neutralising Glen's shots.
By the conclusion of the fourth round Slick had secured a close clear unanimous decision to capture his second National Title. Wow, TWO TIME!! Well done Slick you're a champion personified.
Well done to all the State teams, officials, managers, trainers and boxers who competed in the Titles. You all did a great job making it an exciting tournament containing great fights showcasing skills and fitness which was a pleasure and honour to be part of.
A big thank you to all the well wishers who supported us throughout the tournament. Thank you so much for your calls and texts they really lifted our spirits and got all our boys over the line.
Thanks heaps for all the Hoffmann and Bell families for coming down and being our own personal cheer squad. It was brilliant to have you there and it was great to be in your company. Thank you.
Well done to Charlie and Michael Bell for becoming National Champions. I was honoured to work young Charlie's corner when he stepped up in weight and took on Robert Jansen to fight for a second gold medal. Charlie boxed brilliantly using his distance and jab to perfection while not allowing Robert to take advantage of his height and reach advantage. Both boys boxed well and gave it their all till the end of the bout. Charlie was very unlucky not to get the decision in a close entertaining bout where a high level of skill and determination was displayed. Well Done Charlie you're a champion.
Also a big thank you to Andrew Mahoni for the big part he played in all the boys success. It was brilliant having you along for the trips around the State working on everyone's technique and strategy. You have made the experience so much more enjoyable and you helped make the boys so much better boxers, cheers mate. You were missed by all of the Moranbah Team in Hobart Champ.
Finally to all the boxers, well done. What a proud moment in my life to be associated with such great boxers and even better people. It was your talent that won the North Qld Games medals, your talent that won the Golden Gloves medals, your talents that won the State Title medals and it was your talent that won the Australian Titles! What a great year you all have had!! Well done!! Thanks for making me part of it!!