WHEN Emerald boxer Tristan Martin first started boxing in his trainer’s backyard eight months ago, he could never have imagined how far he would climb in the sport, in such a short time.
On Monday, the 14-year-old returned from Tasmania a newly crowned Australian champion.
However, the dream nearly came crashing down before Tristan even stepped foot in the ring, as he struggled to make weight – an offence punished with automatic disqualification.
“We threw him in the sauna for an hour, had him dressed up in a tracksuit and doing some jogging on the spot,” Fighters Inc. owner and trainer Blair Wilson said.
“He weighed in at just 50 grams under the division maximum, with only 20 minutes until the cut-off.”
Tristan was one of two fighters from Emerald’s Fighters Inc. gym to make the trip to the National Championships at the weekend.
The other, Sam Wade,19, returned with bronze after being withdrawn from his semi-final bout for safety reasons.
“I’m really happy, I never realised how much all the hard work would pay off,” Tristan said.
“I’ve tried my best to stay dedicated, training five or six times a week, always thinking about the fight and how to improve.
“I’ve got to thank my mum and dad, because they’ve put in just as much hard work as me and I owe a lot to them.”
In the past eight months, Tristan has won four titles – the North Queensland Games, Golden Gloves twice, and now the Australian Championships.
“Tristan’s just getting better with every fight,” Mr Wilson said. “It’s every fighter’s dream to win a championship and every trainer’s dream to train a champion. I’m just stoked, I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Tristan avenged a previous loss to arch rival Chris Scott of Mackay in the schoolboys 67kg welterweight championship bout.
His goal now is to box in the Commonwealth or Olympic games for Australia.
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