Trainer says McEachran best chance

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE light-heavyweight fighter Ben McEachran's Commonwealth Games preparations step up another gear when he goes into camp on Sunday ahead of an upcoming international clash against New Zealand in Bendigo next month.

McEachran, 24, will train for three weeks with the Australian Commonwealth Games boxing team at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra before their October 9 clash with New Zealand.

He will then have a short turnaround time before heading back into camp before the world championships in China in November.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist yesterday said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead despite the financial hard- ships involved.

McEachran is looking at going four months without work in the lead-up to the 2006 Comm-onwealth Gam- es in March.

It's a situation his coach Mick Daly is not happy about although there appears to be some confusion in the boxing ranks as to what funds the Games team members were entitled to.

'It's a long time without pay,' Daly fumed yesterday.

'The guys were going to be paid $15,000 each to keep training but it looks like that's fallen through.

"I don't know how they expect people like Ben with car payments to make ? they all signedcontracts to go to all these camps after being told they'd get the payment.'

However, Boxing Australia secretary Grant Peters said McEachran would come under consideration for a $10,000 Federal Government grant which is up for review on October 1. "Given Ben's past perfor-mances I would think he'd be a strong chance of getting the grant,' Peters said.

He said he had no knowledge of any $15,000 grant intended for Commonwealth Games boxers.

Regardless of the financial help, Daly believed McEachran, who this week had to turn back a $1500-per-week job because of training commitments, was Australia's best chance for a gold medal in Melbourne in March.

'I think he's the only one capable of winning gold,' Daly said.

'He's a better fighter from the last Commonwealth Games to this one ? he knows what to expect.'



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