Pugilist packs punch
He is no dancing butterfly but Tristan Allison has claimed yet another North Island title after three short years in the ring.
The Putaruru teenager won his first North Island Boxing Heavyweight Novice Championship. The title follows on from his second claim to the Central North Island Boxing Heavyweight Novice championship earlier this year.
Allison said he fought one match to win the North Island champs– and one match was hard enough.
‘‘He was very tough, I knew him quite well, I was training with him and sparring. I was quite scared, he was a force to be reckoned with,’’ he said.
One round in and the 18-year old had some serious doubts about his ability.
The 81kg fighter said boxing is not only about skill, it is also a mental game.
‘‘Once you’re in there it’s all go. I knew I had to win to get into nationals.’’
After a little self motivation and a boost from his coach, Allison won the next two rounds to claim the title.
The trip to the top has not panned out how he envisaged.
Allison, who is nearing 2 metres tall, started the sport at 15 years old when the coach arrived at Putaruru College and put boxing on the menu.
He always had an interest in martial arts and decided to try it without expectations of taking it further.
‘‘ When I first trained I didn’t see myself in the ring at all.’’
But he said coach Bill Miles believed he was the right person to take on board at Matamata’s Walton Boxing Club.
‘‘He reckoned he saw potential.’’
Eight months into training and Allison competed for the first time and won.
Success flowed from there and it has not stopped since.
‘‘I’ve kind of made a name for myself.
‘‘Having people have high expectations makes you want to succeed,’’ he said.
Allison said living in a small town meant he had a snapshot of fame, being recognised in the streets by strangers.
But the self-proclaimed athlete was still not used to the attention.
‘‘I don’t really like to talk to about my achievements.’’
Nationals are just two weeks out and the young ath- lete said he hoped to win the national title.
Allison’s tough regime of sparring, fitness and skills 12 hours a week will help him on his way.
Healthy eating to maintain his weight was one of the bigger challenges at his age.
‘‘I have to watch eating junk food. At school you just get stuck into whatever is there – a lot of my friends drink as well, it’s difficult but rewarding.’’
Allison can certainly see a career in the sport and hoped one day he would be good enough for the Commonwealth Games.
Fighting spirit: Tristan Allison won the North Island Heavyweight Youth Championships and is ready to win nationals.