Sport

Billy Ward is off to London

Billy Ward at Gladstone Airport and happy to be home.
Billy Ward at Gladstone Airport and happy to be home. Kara Irving

GLADSTONE teenager Billy Ward really packs a punch.

On Sunday, the 18-year-old's wildest dreams came true when he qualified for a place on the 2012 Australian Men's Olympic Boxing team.

>> Latest sport news

"I'm pretty happy, it's sort of all beginning for me," Billy said.

"But I know I have a lot of training and hard hours to put in."

Billy's ticket to London comes as he defeated Papua New Guinea's Charlie Keamau by five points during the Oceania championships in Canberra.

Sunday's match was one of the three matches needed to qualify for the Olympics.

Billy's success in the Queensland and Australian boxing titles also came into account.

"It just didn't sink in. It was a totally different feeling to what I thought I would have felt.

"Now I feel great about it and I'm confident and happy," Billy said.

Yesterday his arrival at Gladstone Airport was met with cheers, hugs and tears from family and close friends.

Billy also received the rock star treatment when a cheer squad of girls donning his trademark red locks welcomed him at the gate.

Since 2003 Billy has been prevalent across the Australian boxing circuit, guided by longtime mentor and coach Mick Daly.

In that time Billy has received numerous sporting accolades, including a 2007 Golden Gloves award.

Billy said he admired a range of boxers, but was inspired by his former boxing father.

"Muhammad Ali was a great fighter and he was told he could never do it because of the way he fought. I also like Anthony Mundine and Mike Tyson too."

Billy flew into Gladstone with parents Darcy and Julie Ward and his sister Jessica.

"We are so proud of him," Julie said.

"Just as long as I fight my best and give it my all, then I don't care if I have to be carried out of the ring, just as long as I give it my all."

In August Billy will jet off to London with his dad and sister.

Topics:  boxing, gladstone, london, london olympics, olympics




UPDATE: 25-year-old man dies in Benaraby collision, video:

Fatal motorbike accident at Benaraby.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Its been confirmed the man who died at the scene of the crash was 25

Gladstone ice user busted twice driving when court disqualified

A GLADSTONE court was told that a young woman’s drug of choice was ice but she was now actively trying to do something about her addiction.

Ice is no drug of choice, it's dangerous, woman told by court.

Fishing industry squeezed out by new 60% target

THE fishing industry is casting its eye over the State Government’s green paper on fisheries management reform.

FISHING industry casting eye over State Government's green paper

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles