Buninyong boxer Jack Denahy is closing in on a Commonwealth Games berth.
The lightweight fighter will travel to Sydney in late October in search of the national title, if he can do this he will represent Australia at Gold Coast 2018.
The 18-year-old fought his way to qualification last weekend, impressing against more than 40 boxers. Denahy was also named the Best Boxer of the tournament.
Denahy said he was feeling a mixture of nerves and anticipation about the possibility of representing his country. But the overriding feeling was one of excitement given this has been something he has been working towards for some time.
“That’s the big goal, that’s what we’ve been working towards,” Denahy said.
“There’s always some nerves, but you learn to overcome them, everyone feels the same, it’s just about what you do with it.”
Denahy started his boxing career at age 15, training at Ballarat’s BodyConnect, but he was soon advised to take his training to the next level and join Brian Butler at East End Boxing in Croydon.
Denahy’s boxing has gone to another level under Butler, who says the young gun is a “special” talent. But it has required immense levels of commitment to the sport.
From Monday to Thursday, Denahy drives to the train station and catches the train to Southern Cross station, and from there to Croydon. A five-hour round trip is the end result, but Denahy said it was worth every minute to do what he loves.
Coupled with working two jobs and a stringent personal training schedule, it has not been a journey built on pure talent, but a driven dedication.
Denahy said one of the main reasons why Croydon has been influential in his development is the chance it offers for him to fight other talented boxers in his weight division. Ballarat was great for him, but lacked the quality fighters to compete and practice with.
“The best way to get better at something is to do exactly that.
“You can hit the bag as much as you want, but you’re only going to get better if you do that against other fighters.”
Denahy said one of his great strengths as a boxer was his adaptability, something that has helped him win a number of fights against a range of styles.
Denahy’s career is self-funded and if anyone wishes to help support his journey they can contact him on: 0439 588 871.