Farrelly heading in right direction to achieve goal

RISING TALENT: Callum Farrelly, 13, won the Australasian Champion Boxer under-40kg title last month and hopes to fight in Australia.
RISING TALENT: Callum Farrelly, 13, won the Australasian Champion Boxer under-40kg title last month and hopes to fight in Australia.

Callum Farrelly added another boxing title to his growing collection last weekend by winning the junior under-42kg weight class at the North Island Golden Gloves tournament.

It's a prestigious title that garners respect but for the 13-year-old it made little impact after he became an Australasian champion just the week before.

In the biggest fight of his young career, Farrelly stepped into the ring with top-ranked Australian junior Julian Jeakings in a trans-Tasman battle where the Australasian junior boxing champion title was on the line.

Although a year younger and less experienced in the class (he had previous competed at cadet level) Farrelly dominated in all three of the bout's two-minute-long rounds, knocking the Aussie to the floor in the second, and walking away with the win.

"I was definitely nervous, but it was a good fight," he said. "I got told that I needed to start training in March ... I didn't expect to fight an Aussie so young".

The bout in New Plymouth saw top Kiwi fighters meet their Aussie counterparts, with Farrelly invited to fight Jeakings after earning a national age-group title last year.

The Te Awamutu year nine student has been boxing since he was 8, and has encouraged his older brothers to give the sport a go as well.

Now, the Farrelly boys are well-known at the Te Awamutu Boxing Club and well respected in the ring. Callum has earned two consecutive national titles and but will step up a weight class to fight at under-42kg this year.

"When I was going under-40, I had to lose 2-3kg to fight. I'm growing and I wouldn't be able to that any more," he said. "I'm definitely getting better and I want to win at nationals again. I've won it twice in a row, I've never been beaten.

"People say I have really good defence and body shots, but I don't really watch famous boxers for techniques. I just get into the ring and fight them ... I like body shots."

Building up to fights, he trains at least four times a week doing strength and conditioning exercises.

He's a one step at a time kind of kid, acknowledging that he is young in his sport, and is happy to have some time off before nationals and another big fight, but he has some big ambitions to keep his momentum driving.

"To get to the Olympics, probably the Commonwealth Games first, it's definitely the goal."

But first-up will be a rematch with Jeakings that he is hoping the Aussie will host. "It would be good to get a rematch and go to Aussie. He's pretty good but he's short, I'm sure I could win again."

Waikato Times