Rebel’s gym packs the box­ers in

In­clu­sive feel ‘good’

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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