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Fighters step up to plate

Blackwater’s Sam Payne (red) takes on Palm Island’s Patrick Clarke at the Blackwater PCYC.
Blackwater’s Sam Payne (red) takes on Palm Island’s Patrick Clarke at the Blackwater PCYC. Meghan Kidd

LOCAL boxing trainer Blair Wilson, from Fighters Inc gym in Emerald, was adamant earlier this year his fighters needed to prove to him they were capable of a higher class of competition before he would even think about promoting them up through the amateur boxing ranks.

The four Emerald fighters who were only recently christened into the Queensland Boxing Association look to have done all that and more, checking just about all the boxes for Wilson despite a mixed bag of results from the Blackwater fight night at the weekend.

Champion Emerald fighter Tristan Martin may not have snared a win in his Blackwater bout, but still gained plenty in experience when he fought the division’s world number three Liam Nicholson from Gladstone.

Nicholson, who has boxed fighters from across the globe and holds an impressive 50-fight resume, came close to succumbing to Martin who boasts a mere 16-fight claim.

“It was no walk in the park, it was always going to be tough,” Wilson said.

“Tristan is only 14-years-old and Liam would have been close to 17, so it was a big step up, but it certainly wasn’t all one-way traffic.

“From his last fight to then it looked like he had had 20 fights in between.

“It’s a big boost, both for Tristan and myself, in the way he handled himself that night, knowing that I can throw him in pretty much anywhere.”

Fellow Fighters Inc fighter Aaron Sinn could hardly put a foot wrong in his bout in his win over a rival Blackwater boxer.

“He won every round and boxed extremely well,” Wilson said.

“He just stuck to his basics and piled on the pressure on the other bloke.”

Emerald fighter Cameron Sue also won his 46kg bout against Blackwater’s Liam Harvey with the decision still hanging in the balance at the sound of the final bell.

“It was a real close fight. Both of them got stuck into it right up to the last second, but he (Sue) ended up winning on a split points decision.”

Emerald’s Chris Neilson lost another touch-and-go bout on the night to Chris Star from Yeppoon.

Wilson said his 72kg fighter gave it his all, but on this occasion couldn’t come away with a win.

In the night’s main event Blackwater’s Sam Payne was dusted by the might of Patrick Clarke from Palm Island. Despite a valiant effort and still battling the after-effects of illness earlier in the week, Payne just missed out on a win after a 2-1 judges’ score.

Emerald will field a small boxing contingent for a Moranbah fight meet this weekend, ahead of the Fighters Inc fight night in Emerald on April 16.


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