TEENAGER Russell Cable said he weighed 135 kilograms when some mates dragged him into the Team Machine Boxing Club gym, in Toronto, one night a couple of years ago after footy training.
On Friday, he will step into the ring at Woy Woy Leagues Club having stripped to 86 kilograms.
Russell, 18, of Awaba, said the weight loss was just one benefit to flow from his newfound love of training and boxing.
“It’s been fantastic,” he said of the life-changing choices he’s made through boxing.
“I feel like a different person. It’s helped me in every aspect of my life.”
Russell is one of three Team Machine Boxing Club teenagers who will step into the ring at the Australian Amateur Boxing League’s National Novice Titles at Woy Woy, starting on Friday.
Russell has had five fights, and is sure to have plenty of young boxers in his corner when he pulls on the gloves at the titles.
That’s because Russell also runs the program for young beginners at the gym.
One of the senior Team Machine trainers, Daniel Ford, said Russell had become a mentor for some of the gym’s youngest charges.
“He’s been fantastic for the young kids,” Ford said.
Russell said he instantly took to the gym environment.
“I just fell in love with the sport of boxing. I love the discipline, and the self-restraint,” he said.
Jacob Ford, 15, of Blackalls Park, said he was destined to follow his uncle (Daniel) and father into boxing.
“I just love everything about it,” he said.
He’s had seven fights, and will contest the 60kg division at Woy Woy.
And when Max Faderl, 14, of Toronto, steps into the ring for his debut bout on Friday, his fitness isn’t likely to be a problem.
Max also plays second-row for the Macquarie Scorpions Junior Rugby League Club. When he isn’t training with the Scorpions on Tuesday and Thursday nights, he’s training in the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.
Saturday is game day. And that makes Sunday his sleep-in day.
“I’m a bit nervous, but I also can’t wait,” Max said.
The novice titles start on Friday and continue on Saturday.