Pugilist packs punch

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

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.

Photo: CLAIRE BIRKS, BELLA CRE­ATIVE

Fight­ing spirit: Tris­tan Al­li­son won the North Is­land Heavy­weight Youth Cham­pi­onships and is ready to win na­tion­als.

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