A taste of India

By CRAIG ROSS craigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE could experience a taste of international boxing competition in April with the possibility of the Indian Commonwealth Games boxing team paying a visit.

Gladstone Amateur Boxing Club coach Mick Daly confirmed this week that Queensland Boxing was negotiating with Indian officials to host a training camp with the harbour city a strong contender.

He received a call from Queensland Boxing last week, seeking his interest in hosting the visitors.

"The only thing that could be our downfall is that if the Indians go to Brisbane they will have more sparring partners,'' Daly said.

"But in our favour, we have the best 91kg (Daniel Beahan) and 81kg (Ben McEachran) fighters in Queensland while Doug May and Steve Mylne can match anyone in Queensland at the 75kg mark.''

While the visit is yet to be confirmed, Daly believed the Indians are looking for a base from which they can acclimatise themselves to Australian conditions and complete a training camp, up to 12 days in duration, prior to next year's Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Daly said there was a strong chance such a camp would be followed by a tournament in which Gladstone fighters would aim up against the Indian nationals.

"India's right up there in the Commonwealth ? in 2002 when Ben fought (for Australia), India came second on the medal count to Australia,'' Daly said.

"We'd fight the local guys against them and Queensland Boxing would fly guys up to fight in the divisions we don't have fighters in.''

Even if Gladstone were selected as the hosts for the camp, Daly said it would depend on the Indians' needs as to whether the club would play host.

"If they want us to pay for their travel up here and also to accommodate them the whole time then we wouldn't be able to afford it,'' Daly said.

However, he said assistance from Queensland Boxing or the help of sponsors could help meet such a request if it was made.

McEachran to wait for Forsyth rematch ? tomorrow's Observer.

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