Blackwater boxing rookie Sharni Smith is solidifying a tough reputation in the ring, more than capable of matching it with her male training partners.
Blackwater boxing rookie Sharni Smith is solidifying a tough reputation in the ring, more than capable of matching it with her male training partners.

Rookie Smith takes on the boys in Blackwater

THE Blackwater PCYC boxing boys may have the numbers superiority in the gym but they better watch out, there’s a new girl on the block and she’s packing just as much punch.

Sixteen-year-old Sharni Smith was looking for a new approach to her fitness training and before long found herself volunteering for a shot in the ring as well.

“She came down to the gym one afternoon and said she wanted to train,” Blackwater boxing trainer Sam Serio said. “She’s right into the cross country running and fitness and a very powerful hitter – she spars with the boys.

“Before her last fight in Tannum Sands they were talking the other girl up a fair bit but she gave it right back.”

The Blackwater club was able to match three boxers at the Wide Bay Titles in Bundaberg, despite a major shortage of contenders. Liam Solinas stepped up in both weight and age to defeat Jake Perkins from Caboolture in the 54kg division. Trainer Sam Serio said there was “nothing in it” during the three two-minute rounds allocated for the bout.

Keano Lloyd-Jones came close to taking his 60kg bout with a powerful Kingaroy opponent.

“It was fairly close but the other boy was fairly strong,” Serio said.

Blackwater’s 64kg boxer Junior Lai was also forced to step up in age, with the usual 40-fight card in Bundaberg reduced to just 18 at the weekend.

Not that it seemed to bother Lai, who relished the opportunity to test his skills in the senior division against a worthy contender in James Chien.

However it was James who finished the stronger with a definite fitness advantage.

“It was pretty even, they both had only a couple of fights each,” Serio said. “Junior was catching all the shots on the gloves - he just ran out of puff.”


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