Mick Daly has been named an assistant coach for the Australian Boxing Team.
Mick Daly has been named an assistant coach for the Australian Boxing Team. Brenda Strong

Gladstone boxers the real deal

GLADSTONE Amateur Boxing Club proved a real knockout at the recent Australian Boxing titles in Tasmania.

Coach Mick Daly travelled to the southern state with a team of five boxers, all vying for the Australian Title in their weight class.

Liam Nicolson and Harley Broom of Rockhampton drew the short straw in their

classes early on, exiting the competition after losses in the first round.

"Both boys drew Commonwealth games fighters," Daly said.

"Unfortunately they were unable to overcome these boxers but they both fought very well.

"To come up against these two was bad luck but a great learning curve for the pair, experience they would not have gotten otherwise. They couldn't be too disappointed."

Emma Carruthers finished the titles with silver, not going down without a fight.

"As usual Emma was as tough as anything having two solid fights," Daly said.

"In her second fight she appeared tired but fought on, losing the fight by only one or two points in the end.

"She will now go through to the World Titles in April."

Rockhampton's Nat Hinchcliffe also sealed his start at the World Titles.

"What a little fighter. He fought the last four minutes of his second fight with a broke thumb, and he is still a youth," Daly said.

"He had a fantastic week.

"Nat took out our first gold for the week; he is the current Australian champion for his youth 64kg class."

Hinchlcliffe's club-mate Billy Ward also claimed gold, taking out the open 49kg class.

The result ensures Ward is now one step closer to realising his Olympic dreams.

"I think we only saw 50% of what Billy Ward has to offer at the titles," Daly said.

"We are yet to see that boy's full potential.

"Hopefully we will though at the Oceania Titles. If he wins there, which I think he can, it's through to the Olympics for him."

If Ward does make the Olympic team he will feel right at home as Daly has been named assistant coach of Australian Boxing Team after being appointed while in Tasmania.

"Thankfully (my employer) the Ports Corporation are supportive of my boxing and enabled me to apply for this position," Daly said.

"While in Tasmania we had to undergo interviews, I was then short listed and it was announced at the finals that I would be the Assistant Coach.

"It was a very sweet moment with my wife, daughter and mum and dad there."

Daly will assist head boxing coach Don Abnett in Australia's preparation for the 2012 London Olympics

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