2012 National Titles – one more step to the Olympic dream

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Boxing Australia started the year with the Australian Amateur Boxing Championships.
A total of 280 boxers tested their fitness, skills and stamina over 5 days in Aurora Sport Stadium in Hobart last week.
Over 190 fights were fought with only a handfull of stoppages  (RSC – Referee Stopped Contest) whereby many fights reverted to count back with very even scores proving the high level of competition this year.
The Queensland team was one to claim the Team of the Tournament. All the boxers preformed well and outstanding performances by Jeff Horn, Jesse Ross, Jessica Rettalick and Clay Waterman.

Super heavyweight division went to South Australian boxer Johan Linde who stopped a hard hitting Alexey Muhkin (ACT). He also defeated Jeff Saofai (VIC) by 13–4 and Nathan McKay (NSW) 16–7 in preliminary bouts.
Jai Opetaia from NSW is only 16 y/o and won the men’s 91kg weight division claiming the most outstanding boxer of the tournament trophy after beating Jackson Kruse (TAS) 22–3, Gavin Reid (ACT) 14–9 and Jason Whateley (VIC) 17–12 in the finals.
Western Australia has won gold medals in 81kg Elite male by Jeremy Van Dieman who defeated Adrian Andrews (ACT) in finals by 6 points margin. 75kg female Naomi Fischer-Rasmussen beat Kaye Scott (NSW) by only a one point 14–13.
Kaila Riley (WA) also Defeated Katie Skinner (NSW) by one point 18–17.
Brothers Ibrahim and Qamil Balla (VIC) made it to the final and both had it tough where Qamil faced 3 time AUS Champion Jeff Horn (QLD) in 64kg and lost 24–19. Ibrahim was up against Luke Boyd (NSW) also 2011 AUS Champion.
Judges saw the close fought contest 14–14 which went to Victorian fighter 40–37 on countback.
NSW scored a gold medal in 69kg Elite male where no one could beat the speed and footwork of Moree’s young prospect Cameron Hammond who defeated Mark Basile (VIC) 19:16 in the finals, Danny Hayes (WA) 10–9 in semifinals, Abdul Jenzarli (WA) 13–2 and Liam Nicolson (QLD) 13–3 in the preliminary bouts.
Luke Jackson (TAS) defeated Jai Alexander (VIC) in their final bout in 60kg weight division and Jackson Woods (TAS) beat Andrew Moloney (VIC) 16–12 in 52kg.
‘After Beijing we have lost most of our seasonal boxers due to financial commitments and fighters turning professional etc. so since Beijing we’ve been rebuilding the team, so it is relatively young team. Young Damien Hooper only turn 18 [y/o] and I consider him for our best chance for Olympic medal.’ said Don Abnett – the Olympic coach was pleased with the competition standards.
Abnett says that Olympic team will be selected after the Oceania Titles from 21.-25. March 2012 in Canberra.
Full results coming up soon.
By Tomas Vysokai




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