Gym reaps the rewards

SUCCESS: Jesse Jones (left) was named Boxing SA Youth Boxer of the Year for 2018, while Warlocks Whyalla, run by Justin Fennell (right) was named Best Country Gym of the Year.

SUCCESS: Jesse Jones (left) was named Boxing SA Youth Boxer of the Year for 2018, while Warlocks Whyalla, run by Justin Fennell (right) was named Best Country Gym of the Year.

Warlocks Whyalla, the steel city's local boxing/muay thai gym, has reaped the rewards after a very successful year in 2018.

The gym was named the Boxing SA Country Gym of the Year, the first time it's achieved that honour since 2002, while star boxer Jesse Jones received the Youth Boxer of the Year award.

Head Coach Justin Fennell said the award proved the regional gym could match up with the best gyms around Australia.

"We put in the hard yards and we got a reward for it," he said.

"To be given an award like that is massive. That comes down to having the great fighters I've got and the great team behind us."

Warlocks are hitting new heights as they prepare to host their first ever Iron Gloves boxing event, which will be held at the Whyalla Leisure Centre on May 11.

The showcase will feature fighters from Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Port Pirie going up against boxers from North Side Boxing in Adelaide - depending on matchups.

Mr Fennell said he hoped the event would help put Whyalla on the map in the boxing community.

"I believe we can put on a stellar boxing tournament," he said.

"We're hoping to get a good mix of fighters between juniors and adults, and we're hoping to get some elite fighters to come to Whyalla as well."

The promotion will feature the same setup as the Shines of Steel tournament but the focus will be on amateur boxing.

Tickets for Iron Gloves can be purchased through the Middleback Arts Centre.

Meanwhile Jesse has been selected to join the South Australian Development Squad which will see him travel to Samoa for a fight later this month.

"I really enjoy it because you get the full experience of fighting internationally, it's the next level of competition," he said.

"I like not knowing who I'm going to fight, because I get to fight my own way and don't have to worry about anyone else."

Through the squad he will be given the opportunity to train with Olympic coaches, with Jesse saying it's the perfect opportunity to learn.

Jesse says he's looking forward to boxing in front of his hometown at Iron Gloves.

"I can't wait, I've been waiting for a home show ever since I fought at Shines of Steel," he said.

"Fighting in front of a home crowd is next level. Everyone who knows you gets around you, even the people who just know you're a local do."

Jesse has been sponsored by Australian engineering and construction company RJE.