Two Campbelltown boxers have gone from beginners to state champions in just one year.
Claymore’s Dee Ioapo, 17, and George Peterson, 28, from Minto have only competed in a handful of fights and are now proud title holders.
The men won the Boxing NSW State Titles – Pathway to Commonwealth Games in their divisions.
Their success can be attributed to their hard work, dedication and the Police Citizens Youth Club at Campbelltown.
The men train at the gym at least four times a week.
Head coach Aaron Bailie and assistant coach Mark Denbeigh have helped the fighters improve their fitness and skills.
“Peterson’s size scares his opponents and he has good agility for his size,” Bailie said.
“Dee has good reflexes and speed as well as the power of heavyweight which shocks his opponents.”
Ioapa has four straight wins and he has only been boxing for six months.
“I have a background in football but boxing is always a sport I have wanted to try,” Ioapa said.
“I have also met decent people at the gym and I love it.”
“For Ioapa to achieve a state title in only six months means he is going somewhere,” Bailie said.
Peterson said he enjoyed the challenge and adrenaline rush of being in the boxing ring.
“Boxing has kept me fit and now with Bailie and Denbeigh coaching me I feel like I am heading in a good direction,” he said.
Bailie said the men had the potential, skills and determination to turn professional.
“Peterson is at the age where he is ready to turn professional,” Bailie said. “His size and ability means he will go far.
“Dee is still young and he will be at the prime age to compete in the Olympics in 2020.”
Bailie started coaching at the gym 12 months ago and together with Denbeigh, they have built a good fighting team.
“Boxing keeps the kids off the street and if we can get a few Australian titles and have the boys at the top level then I would have achieved my goal,” Bailie said.
“It is not all about winning but it helps the boys continue to put in the effort.
“They have advanced so much in 12 months.”
Denbeigh said the team was a family and anyone who was interested in boxing was welcome to join.
“All abilities are welcome,” he said. “We train Monday to Friday except for Tuesday from 5.30pm to 7pm in Minto.
“We have the music playing, we have fun, we laugh and we train hard.”
The club will get a new boxing gym later this year and they also train women and children.
For more information, visit: www.pcycnsw.org.au/campbelltown