Teenage boxer becomes state champion
BOXING: On a special week for the indigenous community of Australia, one Bundaberg teenager made a statement by becoming a state champion.
PCYC Deadly Boxing's Aaliyah Watson won the novice title in the 44kg girls division last weekend in Brisbane, winning in her first attempt at the titles.
Watson defeated fellow Bundy boxer and Attila's Boxing Academy's Mia Keely in a unanimous decision before battling her way through Eriane Honey in the final.
The Shalom College student said she was excited to win and used a tactic on Keely that also was able to work in the final with both fighters the same,
"I kept my distance (to her) pretty good,"
"I figured out (Keely's) style, compared to mine, so then I just went through that.
"She did come in a bit fast, so then I decided to pivot out of her brawling acts."
Like the famous Mohammed Ali quote, float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, Watson was able to dance around the ring and get the punches she needed in when it counted.
"For the final I had to fight another girl and we both had two very different styles," she said.
"She was a brawler as well, so I kept pivoting.
"If she was coming at me, I'd step back and then make a move."
Watson's success now has her dreaming big after starting in the sport almost two years ago.
"My dad's father was a boxer, my dad also boxed but not competitively," she said.
"I got very inspired by my family.
"My next goal is to win golden gloves in August."
Her coach Malachi Johnson said she can do well at the event and is an inspiration to other indigenous athletes.
"She really made a statement coming into the NAIDOC Week," he said.
"She wore the Aboriginal flag out for her fights.
"I'm proud of her, she boxed exceptionally well.
"She has great footwork and she used her footwork to manoeuvre around them."
Johnson said she did well to execute the game plan.
"It was great, there was a few things we had to change up," he said.
"She listens so well over the crowds noise as well when she fights.
"To me she's one of the most technical fighters I've ever coached."
Watson was expected to be the headline act for the Deadly Boxing Fight Night, run by the PCYC, to be held at the Multiplex on Saturday.
But yesterday organisers took to Facebook to announce the event was being postponed.
The PCYC Bundaberg apologised for any inconvenience caused in a statement and respected the patience and co-operation from everyone.