Rebel’s gym packs the boxers in
Inclusive feel ‘good’
It’s a rainy Tuesday night and even though he’s not taking part in the next fight night, James Bostock has still come out to lend a hand.
The 17-year-old welterweight is becoming well-known in boxing circles for his quick feet and excellent counter-attack.
He recently accounted for the highly-fancied David Graham, someone who has ‘‘embarrassed’’ him in past sparring matches, Bostock says.
He now holds titles in Manawatu and Wellington for his age and weight class, and aspires to go a long way in the sport.
‘‘My main goal is to have at least one professional fight, that’s my ambition, and I want to work hard [towards] that. In this sport you get to meet a lot of people and travel, that’s what it’s about.’’
Bostock has been coming to Rebel Boxing Club, at the Redden Fight Club premises in the old Kenepuru Hospital grounds, for four years. He was convinced by a friend to come along one night and has never left.
Studies – he is doing trades at Whitireia Community Polytechnic – have put paid to recent training, and left him a little unfit, so he wasn’t in Rebel’s latest fight night over the weekend.
But non-attendance at the weeknight trainings is not some- thing he considers.
‘‘I’ve always enjoyed coming down here, I really like the people and the training.
‘‘Me and Phil [Findlay, trainer and head of Rebel] have a bond and although there are times I can’t give much time to boxing, I try to fit in sessions here as often as I can.
‘‘Boxing is the only sport I’m good at. It’s great for fitness and discipline, which is what you need if you want to win.’’
Rebel has an inclusive feel, no matter what age and skill level boxers are, he says.
‘‘ Whenever someone new comes in we treat them as family, they’re made welcome. We push each other, but it’s about helping each other succeed.’’
In the lead-up to regionals in Lower Hutt next month, Bostock says he will train six days a week. He will work on his speed and learn more about gaining points through body shots.
Findlay says Bostock, and another young fighter, Richard Wichman, both have genuine chances in the regionals. He ran his eye over them last week and was impressed.
‘‘These are great, young guys, representing their community and they’ll do well. They’ve got good attitudes towards boxing.’’
Findlay and son Tim subleased the building from Rex Redden nearly five years ago and are pleased with the progress their boxing club has made.
Despite only a handful of members turning up to Tuesday night training last week – Findlay saying some are always put off by bad weather – Rebel has 60-odd members. Three of them have won two titles each.
‘‘Some nights you can barely move in there, we consistently get 40 people along, probably more than the [Redden] kickboxing guys do.
‘‘We’re doing well compared to other clubs and I think part of our success can be attributed to the good feel we have – we don’t look down on each other, there’s no intimidation, everyone’s quite close. Look at James – he’s in there sparring with our up-andcomers. He’s not a selfish guy at all.’’
Boxing clever: James Bostock, left, and Richard Wichman are two of the Rebel Boxing Club’s young fighters that could shine in the Wellington regional champs next month.