McEachran keeps Games in focus

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au

NEXT year's Commonwealth Games are still the main focus for Gladstone boxer Ben McEachran even after a disappointing showing at the Oceania Games in Papua New Guinea recently.

The Yarwun product described his display as 'flat' after losing his second round fight to Australian number two Damien Morgan.

McEachran had beaten Kiwi No.2 Dylan Russell in his first encounter, but was upset in a close points decision.

It was a bad loss for the 24-yearold who had beaten Morgan on all three previous occasions and went into the games as the number one for the 81kg division.

'I didn't fight very well, there was something not quite right and I wasn't on my game,' McEachran said.

'Saying that, he probably fought the best he has ever done and only just got me on points ? so that is something to take out of it.'

McEachran said the PNG heat and humidity was tough to get used to, but didn't offer it as an excuse for why he was beaten.

'It was really hot there and made it tough for all the fighters, that was not why I got beaten.

'My preparation probably wasn't quite there and that showed in my fights,' he said.

Even so, the loss has not affected McEachran's main focus ? the state and national titles being held next month.

His chances of making the squad for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games hinge on how the powerpuncher performs at those two meets.

'Getting beaten was probably not the worse thing to happen to me.

'Mick (coach Mick Daly) said it was probably the wake-up call I needed and we are now switched on again for states. "The confidence is still there and I know if I am at my best I should do well,' he said.

Daly was one of two coaches in charge of the Australian team for the week-long games.



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