Games plans right on track
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
THE COMMONWEALTH Games plans of top Gladstone boxer Ben McEachran are on track after an impressive display at the recent World Championships in China.
McEachran, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, returned home on Tuesday after a strong showing at the worlds which ended in the third round after a narrow loss to eventual gold medallist Yerdos Dzhanbergenov from Kazakhstan.
McEachran, while disappointed about the loss, was pleased with his own performance and the fact it took the gold medallist to beat him.
"I was pleased with how I went, it shows I am not too far away from the best light-heavyweight in the world,'' McEachran said.
"He was a tough fighter and to match it with him showed that my form was pretty good.
"I defeated Azerbaijan's top boxer in the second round after a bye in the first, so on the whole the tournament was a solid one.''
McEachran was the top Australian performer at the Championships and attributed his display to a strong hitout at the national team's training camp in the Philippines prior to the trip to China.
"The training camp was fantastic, we got to spar with fighters from a number of countries such as France, Germany and Italy, which was great.
"It provided a great preparation heading into the Championships and gave me a lot more confidence.
"The best thing was that it helped me with my ring fitness and timing which was very important,'' he said.
The 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said it was great to spend some time at home, but added that his schedule is pretty full until the Games in Melbourne next March.
"Obviously the months leading up to the Commonwealth Games are pretty hectic.
"I have plenty of training to do and some important tournaments in India in January and against the Croatian team before we go to Melbourne.