Mick Daly began coaching boxers in 1996. Last year was the first time he hadn't trained a Queensland champion.
Mick Daly began coaching boxers in 1996. Last year was the first time he hadn't trained a Queensland champion. Luka Kauzlaric

Boxing club is struggling to find fighters

FOR the first time in 18 years of running the Gladstone Amateur Boxing Club, Mick Daly is struggling to find boxers.

The Olympic and Commonwealth Games coach had to cancel a tournament planned for next month because of not having enough fighters.

He is at a loss as to why his gym has slowly become emptier during the past 12 months.

"It is a rewarding sport. The club even works at being financially able to pay for the kids trips away," he said.

The gym was to hold a 15th local tournament in September but has been forced to hold any plans until next year.

The last thing Daly wanted to do was to put on a lacklustre and sub-standard show.

The coach is urging potential boxers to get to his gym, offering a disciplined environment to nurture talent with the opportunity for big futures.

"This is the first time we have had to cancel an event due to lack of boxers," he said.

"We don't want to do a bad tournament in Gladstone. I want to get some kids who want to fight.

"We are chasing kids from 12 to 24, kids who have a bit of flare and aggression and want to see how they go."

Having fallen into the role of coach in Gladstone back when the club first began, Daly knows where the sport has the potential to take a prospective fighter.

Daly has travelled overseas for the sport after his initial refusal to coach, and said anyone has the opportunity to do the same.

They just need to if they take the leap.

"It can take you a lot of places overseas and boxing Australia pays for that, the chances are there for them to excel," he said.

"I really need people down here now to get ready for next year."

There have been years when tournaments have not been held because of Daly's hectic schedules in years when the Olympics took up much of his time.

He never thought the day would come when he would not have enough locals for keen fans to cheer on in the ring.

"Usually we have 10 of the fights supplied by us and this year we may have had six," he said.



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