A MYAREE boxing gym is turning out present and future champions with a combination of hard work and focus, as well as some good old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears.
Michael Martino (19), who trains at Myaree’s Gloveworkx Boxing under Justin Footit, has already taken out a Silver Gloves Championship in the 69kg division (Welter Weight) this year.
Martino, who had been competing in mixed martial arts (MMA), approached Footit for some help with his punches and the rest is history.
‘I really enjoyed the striking art of MMA and I came down here to practise sparring, but I decided boxing was for me,’ he said.
Martino, from Kwinana, has had five fights this year, winning three of those, and has moved up from novice to intermediate division.
Another rising star at the gym is Brandon Rees, of Bull Creek, who at 17 is the only WA youth in the Heavy Weight division.
Heavyweights must weigh between 81kg and 91kg and Rees is hoping a competitor will travel from the eastern states to challenge him in the coming State Titles. Because there are no other heavyweights in his age group, Rees has been forced to face men in his two previous fights, winning one and losing one.
The Year 11 Aquinas College student took up boxing just over 12 months ago, originally planning to use it as a way to get fit for football pre-season. He now trains four to five times a week as well as doing extra fitness sessions.
Lulu Hawton (29), from Myaree, has the opposite problem. At 46kg she is the only Atom Weight female in Australia so has to travel to Asia to find smaller opponents.
She is a world-ranked fighter, who recently took out a six-round victory in Thailand, after only 18 months in the sport.
Hawton, who has been a professional boxer for about one year, juggles caring for her four and seven-year-old children with two training sessions a day and her job as a trainer and skateboarding coach.