LIMESTONE Coast boxer Riley Wiese has returned home from the weekend’s Boxing SA tournament with a win in his fifth career fight.
He joined two fellow fighters from Barry Nilsson’s Mount Gambier gym who made the trip to Adelaide for the event.
After three top performances, Wiese emerged as the only victor, but Nilsson was unlucky not to come home with more success.
Te Mana Kennedy stepped into the ring for his first fight and Nilsson said he was confident he had won the bout.
However, after three two-minute rounds the judges’ decision saw him go down to his opponent, who maintained his unbeaten status after three fights.
Vahahn Schofield was the third fighter to make the trip and the 13-year-old faced a new challenge in the lead up to his bout.
With the weigh in on Saturday morning, Schofield stepped onto the scales and was 1.5kg over weight.
The call was for Schofield to lose the weight, which saw him exhausted before he stepped into the ring.
“We got in the car with the heaters on and two hours later we went back to weigh in and he made weight,” Nilsson said.
“By that time he was knackered.
“But to his credit when he made weight he got the energy back and we fuelled him up and he was good to go.”
To add to the challenge of his match-up, he faced a southpaw for the first time in his now six-fight career.
“A southpaw is very hard to beat,” Nilsson said.
“Vahahn did everything right, but unfortunately just lost on a split decision.
“It could have gone either way, he had a very good fight.”
Despite the result, Nilsson was impressed by the up-comer’s performance, as he lifted to the occasion for the three 1.5-minute rounds.
“He fought a very good boy and lifted to the occasion,” he said.
“I could not have asked for anything more.”
Schofield said it was a tough match and he was “exhausted” due to the extra challenges he faced.
“I found it hard to catch my breath, but I pushed through,” he said.
Kennedy was the second of Nilsson’s fighters to step into the ring and his trainer was most impressed by the 16-year-old’s first bout, as he competed in the 54kg bantamweight division.
“It was his first fight and he fought a bloke who was having his third fight,” Nilsson said.
“Being a Maori, he is a strong boy.
“He took it right up to his opponent and I thought he had done enough to win the fight.”
However, at the end of the three two-minute rounds, Kennedy’s opponent was judged to be the winner.
With two unfortunate results, 18-year-old Wiese was the final boxer to step up and he did not disappoint in his 60-63kg lightweight match.
“He was clean, read his opponent and caught him with left jabs,” Nilsson said.
“And his rips to the body were awesome, they brought his opponent to his knees just about.
“The fight was that good it drew applause from the crowd afterwards.”
Wiese was pleased with his win, but said there is still plenty of work to do to reach his potential.
“It was good to be back in the ring and was good to get a win,” he said.
“I reckon I did alright – I am probably lacking a few things that I found out in the video, but I will just improve on that now.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, it will be a busy time for Nilsson’s gym.
“We could possibly be going to Whyalla on May 11, but it depends on how many boys I have ready to fight and how many get matched up,” he said.
“Then there is a tournament every month from there on we will go to.
“State titles are in September over three days – I will have at least eight or nine boys to take up.”
Now training girls as well, Nilsson hopes to see them in the ring for the first time next year, while he will host his own tournament on December 7 this year, with a venue yet to be decided.