Jesse’s golden gloves

GOLDEN: Local boxer Jesse Jones and teammate Connor Read both took out Golden Gloves awards for their respective divisions in New Zealand.

GOLDEN: Local boxer Jesse Jones and teammate Connor Read both took out Golden Gloves awards for their respective divisions in New Zealand.

After losing his first competitive boxing bout in a split decision at nationals, Whyalla talent Jesse Jones was determined to bounce back.

It didn’t take him long.

Jesse recently traveled to Lake Taupo, New Zealand to participate in the North Island Golden Gloves competition, beating three tough local fighters to win the Youth Novice division.

Not only was Jesse without his usual coach in Justin Fennell from Warlocks Whyalla, he had to fight two bouts in the same day. However, he had National Coach Phil Miller and State Coach Matt Read to back him up.

It was a very new experience for Jesse, but one that he will take a lot out of.

“It was an amazing experience traveling overseas for the first time,” he said.

Jesse was kept in the dark about who he was going to fight on the day, but put on a strong performance over all three bouts.

He won the first fight via TKO in the second round, second fight by split decision and the final by unanimous decision.

“The third fight was probably the toughest, my opponent was very aggressive and I just needed to stay composed,” Jesse said.

“It was challenging to have two fights in the same day but it ended up being a pretty good experience. You aren’t allowed to do that in Australia, so it was actually a great opportunity.”

Coach Justin Fennell was very proud to see Jesse take out the Golden Gloves after a tough loss at nationals.

“I was so anxious for him because I wasn’t there, but he personally rang me after the fight to let me know he’d won. I was so proud of him,” he said.

Before the event, Mr Fennell worked with Jesse to prepare for back-to-back fights.

“We focused on going in for the kill if you know that your opponent is hurt. The less time you spend in the ring, the more time you have to prepare for the next fight,” he said.

Jesse is now preparing to challenge for the SA Challengers belt.

He thanked his sponsors Cleanway, Whyalla High School, WDD Office Choice, RJE Global and his family and friends for helping him fund his trip to New Zealand.