Trio part of wave of box­ing tal­ent at gym

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport -

A MYA­REE box­ing gym is turn­ing out cham­pi­ons, present and fu­ture, 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 Aquinas Col­lege stu­dent Bran­don Rees, who at 17 is the only WA youth in the Heavy Weight di­vi­sion.

Heavy weights 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 heavy weights 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 op­po­nents small enough.

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 sev­enyear-old chil­dren with two train­ing ses­sions a day and her job as a trainer and skate­board­ing coach.

“It’s a lot, but ev­ery­thing I do, I love,” she said.

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