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Kilmore boxer on top in Australian Schools Championships

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

A YOUNG Kilmore boxer has reached the top flight of Australian youth boxing at just 13 years of age.

One of 35 to represent Victoria, Nate Long travelled to Adelaide earlier this month to take part in the 2023 Australian Schools Championships and fought against the country’s best, eventually coming out on top to be crowned the Australian Schoolboy 42kg champion.

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Nate participated in the championships in the same under 15 schoolboy age group last year but came up short of the top spot, with this year’s victory the culmination of a year of hard work to achieve his goal of winning.

Father Matt Long said it was a ‘burning desire’ of Nate’s to go back to the championships and win in his weight class.

“He had to fight through the rounds and went on to get the job done and got a unanimous points decision in the final, so now he’s the 42kg Schoolboy Australian Champion,” Matt said.

“That’s the pinnacle of amateur boxing in this country, these are things that people like Harry Garside won along their journeys, and from there, that’s where you get into futures programs for the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, all that sort of stuff.

“It’s a pretty massive achievement for a boy from Kilmore.”

Nate’s journey through this year’s championships meant he faced strong competition, first beating Northern Territory’s Andreas Troumouliaris to progress to the finals of his weight class.

Nate with Goulburn Valley Boxing Academy coach Zedda Harrington following his win in Adelaide. ​

In the finals he faced Jaylin Erickson, from Queensland, and came out on top in a unanimous decision from the bout’s five judges.

“He was basically the youngest boxer they took last year, and he fought against a boy two years older than him and it really hurt him to lose,” Matt said.

“No one really expected him to win, but it just burned him and he said ‘no, I’m not going to let that happen’. He’s not even in the top age this year.”

Nate began boxing at nine years old and trains at the Goulburn Valley Boxing Academy in Mooroopna under the guidance of coach Zedda Harrington.

His pre-competition training routine consisted of 15 training sessions over seven days and 10-kilometre sprints in ‘non-stop work’ to get ready for the tournaments.

Fighting in inter-club bouts with other boxing gyms, Nate’s win made him Goulburn Valley Boxing Academy’s first Boxing Australia champion.

Matt said Nate would continue to compete, progressing through the age groups and take part in more prestigious competitions in coming years.

“We’re looking at taking Nate to the Golden Gloves competition, which is an Australasian Open, which means anyone can nominate their fighters, so they get people from Australia and Papua New Guinea and stuff like that,” Matt said.

“This victory opens many doors for Nate. He will now receive sponsorship to continue his boxing journey and hopefully represent Australia in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.”

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