CHAMPION boxers Sam Soliman and Sam Colomban have made choices.
Their choice to keep all fighting within the boxing ring is the reason they have enjoyed such successful lives.
The pair addressed about 25 boys and young men from Ballarat Secondary College’s Link Up at BLX in Camp Street yesterday to talk about choices, as part of a Victorian Department of Justice program.
Their advice: think before doing something that will ruin lives.
Soliman is the WBF middleweight world champion, and is the number one contender for the IBF middleweight title, while Colomban is the WBF welterweight world champion.
Colomban represented Cameroon as a 12-year-old and started boxing at the age of seven. The 28-year-old said the line between throwing a punch in the boxing ring and in a street brawl was a clear one.
“Boxing even a national champion is much, much safer than a street fight. There are rules, a referee and doctors on hand,” he said.
“I fight for money and I can win in boxing, but no one can win a street fight. The only prizes are injury, prison and even death.
“If you do hit him down, you don’t know who you have hit. He could come back with his mates, or with a knife or even a gun.” Colomban said discipline was a key for a good boxer: discipline with regard to training, fitness and diet.
He said part of being disciplined was knowing when to walk away from a dangerous situation.
Ballarat Secondary College leading teacher Peter Bruce said the school has what it calls restorative practices, which holds that mutual respect is the foundation for learning.
Mr Bruce said Link Up had adopted the Choices philosophy of showing behavioural choices have consequences.
Student Lewis Davis said yesterday’s message was one that hit home with him.
“I’m learning boxing. The message for me was don’t do it on the street because you don’t know what might happen,” the 12-year-old said.