Sport

Newton to contest state title bout

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June 16, 2017

Benalla boxer Tom Newton, 18, is headed to the state finals next month. If all goes well he could represent the country at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Young Benalla boxer Tom Newton will be looking to make a statement when he steps into the ring for an upcoming state title fight.

Newton is preparing for the Victorian state title fight in August, and will travel to Melbourne for the fight, which if he won, would then lead on to the national welterweight title fight.

Newton, 18, trains with local legend Lennie Griffiths for months before each fight — but this one will be the young gun’s biggest yet.

He is set to fight for the state title, which he says, could lead to bigger and better opportunities.

‘‘I’ve been in about seven fights, so I’ve kind of lost the jitters (before each fight) a bit,’’ Newton said.

The 18-year-old welterweight could represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games next year if he continues his winning ways.

Trainer Lennie Griffiths said he believed Newton had what it took to reach the Games.

‘‘He trains hard, he listens, he does as he’s told, which is very unusual for boxers,’’ Griffiths said.

‘‘He’s got nearly everything going for him, he punches straight, he punches fast, hard, and he’s got a good defence.’’

Newton said his own advantage in fights was the fitness that was drilled into boxers at Griffiths’ gym.

‘‘After round one or two they start to lose a bit of steam, the skills sort of drop and the fitness shows who the real winner is,’’ he said.

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