Local boxers impress coach after three wins on debut

 Warrnambool boxer Luci Hand shows the style which helped her down Emma Payne in a 54-kilogram bout in Brisbane on Friday to take her win/loss record to 12-5.140622DW09 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Warrnambool boxer Luci Hand shows the style which helped her down Emma Payne in a 54-kilogram bout in Brisbane on Friday to take her win/loss record to 12-5.140622DW09 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

THREE wins from five fights represented mission complete for Warrnambool gym Rudy’s Boxing in Brisbane.

Luci Hand, Bianca Slater and Jye Clark won their bouts while Greg Bell and Chris Dendle lost on debut as part of the fight night at Griffith University on Friday.

Hand defeated Emma Payne in a 54-kilogram bout to take her record to 12-5 while Slater improved to 14-4 by beating Matilda Shaw, formerly of Port Fairy, at 57kg.

Teenager Clark edged out Ronan Paulos in a 48kg junior bout. He has a 3-1 record from four trips to the ring.

But coach Rodney Ryan said he was just as impressed with the two debutants, who appeared comfortable up against better-credentialed opponents. Bell lost to Daniel Tundrea at 73kg while Dendle lost to Dylan Harrison at 69kg in bouts which could have gone either way.

“From the coaching side of things, we were really happy with Greg and Chris. They got experience they would never have got,” Ryan said.

“They came out of the ring and both straight away said they wanted to get back in. It’s pretty exciting for them.

“They want to go back in for another crack.

“They were very close fights. I don’t think it would’ve been pinching it if they’d won. They were both up to their ears in it.”

Ryan said Hand was “pretty clinical” in beating Payne. Both boxers represented their state at national championships earlier this year.

“She gets no easy fights. She continues to step up. Everyone she fights now is a potential world titles trials opponent,” he said.

“You’ve got to realise she’s only been fighting for 18 months. 

“She’s coming up against girls who have been fighting for years.

“Her rise continues, but it’s got to continue. At the moment wins and losses aren’t important, it’s more about getting experience.”

Slater started slowly against Shaw but improved the longer the bout went on, with observers noting it as one of the fights of the night.

“Both girls fought really well. A bit of kudos to Matilda, who stepped up in class and went really well. For the south-west girls, it was a really nice fight,” Ryan said.

Clark defied his comparable inexperience against Paulos, who had 15 fights to his name, and appears set for bigger things in the sport.

“He’s quite aggressive and a neat little boxer too and quite fast. 

“At that weight it’s not a bad package to have,” Ryan said.

“Obviously there are a few things to iron out, which we’ll continue to do, but he can’t do that without getting experience and we’re all about the experience now.”

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