IT’S not everyday that you get the opportunity to fight for an Australian title.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Even more so when you’re still a teenager.
But this Saturday, June 2, Ulladulla’s Blaise Taylor will step into the ring and battle Junior Tofa for the Australian title in the light heavy weight division.
“When I found out I had this opportunity, I was very excited,” Taylor said.
“Obviously winning title would be nice and I’m going to give it my all on Saturday, but I just enjoy getting in the ring and competing in this sport.
“I’m hoping to build on my recent form.”
He has so far remained undefeated (4-0) at 15-16 years division, against most guys older than the age of 18.
Despite only having having five years experience in Thai boxing, the 17-year-old has also been involved in karate for six years – giving him 11 years experience to draw on.
“Most mornings, I train from 6 to 8am doing running and pad work,” he said.
“Then in the afternoon, I train from 5 to 6pm doing bag work and shadow boxing.
“On top of this, on Friday and Saturday each week, I do sparring.”
All this training is with the crew at Ulladulla’s Southern Fitness and Martial Arts, led by coach Richard Neradil.
“Richard has trained me since I was 12,” he said.
“He has not only given me the skills I need for fighting but life in general.
“The rest of the team at the gym, especially Ian Harding, Duncan McIntosh and big Matt, have all helped with my training and keeping me motivated.”
It’s with the help of these trainers that has Taylor confident going into his bout at the Canberra Rex Hotel.
“I haven’t fought him [Junior Tofa] before but I know it won’t be easy – I am expecting it to be a war, which is my favourite type of fight,” Taylor said.
“I plan to keep a distance from him and work a lot of my kicks.
“While it would be an amazing honour to win and an awesome to way to pay back all of the effort put into me by Richard and the team, it’s not really about the belts for me – I just love to fight.”
Taylor, who also trains at Bomaderry’s Southern Fitness and Martial Arts, hopes to turn professional one day.
I haven’t fought him [Junior Tofa] before but I know it won’t be easy – I am expecting it to be a war, which is my favourite type of fight.- Blaise Taylor
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.