Boxing: Michael Alsop in state title fight

TEENAGE boxer Michael Alsop has a chance to become Victorian intermediate bantamweight champion on Sunday, against an opponent he has already beaten. 

The 17-year-old Ballarat fighter will take on current novice bantamweight (54 to 56 kilograms) title-holder Travis Murtagh for the intermediate title at the Reggio Calabria Club in Brunswick.

Alsop, who still qualifies as a novice (less than five fights), has had three wins from four fights, including a technical knockout (TKO) against Murtagh in August.

He will face Murtagh in the intermediate (six to 10 fights) division because he could not find a novice opponent.

Alsop, who’s prepared by Ballarat trainer Ian Fear, says there is no guarantee that Sunday’s fight will produce the same result as their last match-up in August but, having stopped his opponent once already, he goes into the title bout with confidence. 

He says it’s exciting to step into a state title fight so early in his boxing career.

“It has happened really early. It’s only my fifth fight so I wasn’t expecting it (a state title fight) at all,” Alsop said.

“I don’t think it will be easy. He (Murtagh) won the first round in the fight we had last time.

“I’m still just as nervous but my fitness has definitely improved since then. 

“I’ve learned how to cut off the ring better, and when to time my punches more. I’ve also got better head movement so I’m not getting hit as much.” 

The fight is over three rounds of two minutes. 

Murtagh’s own record is eight fights for six wins.

“Travis is more of a boxer and has more speed,” Alsop said.

“I like to brawl with my opponent. I have more reach as well. He moves around the ring a lot and runs away. 

“I’ve known about going for the state title for about three months.

“I’ve known for about a month that Murtagh will be my opponent. 

“My goal if I win is to contest more (amateur) titles and, hopefully, compete at the Rio Olympics.”

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