After three years of boxing, Mark Borg is an Australian champion.
Mark, 17, won through the Australian under-19s nationals in Adelaide in the light welterweight division, sealed with an unanimous points decision over Western Australia’s Harry Suter.
“I’ve always wanted to be the national champion and I finally did it,” he said.
“Last year, I got silver so this year I wanted the gold and it was good.”
With his win, Mark has booked his place in the Australian team for the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas in July.
He and trainer Eric McArdle are confident he can perform well for Australia.
“It’s just getting the chance to represent my country,” Mark said of the opportunity.
“To represent Australia and win a medal would just be crazy. To win a gold medal at nationals was good enough but this would be even better.”
Despite turning 18 a month after the Commonwealth Games team is selected, Mark hopes to force his way into the team.
“The main goal is to win gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games and then qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Then it’s the 2020 Olympics, which is the ultimate goal for any amateur boxer. That’s where I want to be.
“I’m not sure if I want to go professional after that. At the moment, I just do boxing because I love it and it’s my life but I’m not sure I want to do it as a job. I do it because I love it, not the money.”
Training at Ultimate Training Centre in St Marys under the tutelage of Eric McArdle, Mark took up boxing after he was having a hard time at school.
Mark, who lives in Horsley Park, travelled over an hour from school to train at the gym and said “I could never imagine boxing without Eric as my trainer.”
McArdle, himself a successful amateur boxer, said Mark is a smart kid who has achieved a lot in such a short amount of time.
“To see where Mark has come from and where he is now, it’s through hard work and dedication,” he said.
“Mark is a pleasure to train because when I tell him something, he’ll do it. He’ll work on it, not just at the gym, he’ll go home and practice.”