By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
JEFFREY Taylor may be the youngest of Gladstone's fighters heading to this weekend's Boxing Australia national championships in Perth, but on the training front he has been team leader.
Gladstone Amateur Boxing Club head coach Mick Daly has been impressed with the work put in by Taylor as he chases glory in the under-17 light- heavyweight division.
"Jeffrey has trained the house down ? he's firing well,'' Daly said.
"He's worked hard, training every day over Easter, and having to come in from Tannum Sands every day to train.
He deserves an Australian title.''
Daly said Taylor was a good chance of receiving such an award but would have to overcome some quality opposition in what is expected to be one of the most fiercely contested divisions.
Daly said he could not see anyone beating senior Gladstone fighter Ben McEachran for the national light-heavyweight title and considers heavyweight clubmate Daniel Beahan and Townsville super-heavyweight Dallas Cleary as good chances.
Cleary, an Australian champion in an opposing boxing league, has spent seven days training with Daly in preparation for the Australian Championships which begin on Friday.
"He's very raw,'' Daly said. "He's never had any real hard training so we did what we could do in the time we had.
Daly said Cleary had trained intensely three times a day during that period and was looking to move to Gladstone to continue training ahead of the Commonwealth Games trials in October.
Daly said Beahan was also a strong contender for a title provided he was in the right frame of mind.
"Daniel can be anything he wants to be although he's fighting in the hardest division of all,'' he said.
"It depends on his mindset on the day. As far as talent goes, he's right up with the best of them but he's got to be confident he can match it with the big names.