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Junior boxer takes on the United States

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Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis has worked as a journalist at the North Central Review since 2022, with a particular focus on the City of Whittlesea and stories for the Whittlesea Review. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications majoring in journalism and focuses on politics, community, and health with the occasional niche sports story finding its way in front of her.

By Pam Kiriakidis

AUSTRALIAN junior boxing champion Santino Brigante is will represent Australia next weekend at the Gene Lewis Tournament – the longest running and largest boxing event in the United States. 

Taking on his first international competition, the Wandong boxer said he was ‘feeling good’ ahead of entering the ring, where he will fight against some of the world’s best junior boxers in the 46-kilogram division, starting from November 9.

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Santino, 15, received the opportunity from Boxing Australia after he acclaimed the title of Australian Junior Boxing champion at the 2023 Australian School Championships in Adelaide in July.

Following his last major fight in Adelaide, where he knocked out his first opponent in the first round, Santino said he planned on using speed and power at the international competition.

“I’ll have to control the centre of the ring and use my speed and power,” he said. 

“Once you give them at a standing eight count, which is when you hit them and the ref gives them an eight-second break to see if they’re alright, if you just go and put pressure, you just stop them.

“Normally for a fight like in Adelaide, I was really nervous. I sat down by myself for five minutes and I just breathed.” 

Preparation for the international competition means more intensified training at the House of Stoush Boxing Academy in Wallan, where Santino is the second fighter from the gym to represent Australia internationally.

Sparring at training camps in North Melbourne under Boxing Victoria is how Santino has been strengthening his game.

“A bunch of Victorian [representatives] go there to just train, see if they’re fit and ready and a bunch of coaches are there to watch,” Santino said.

“I’m sparring bigger and heavier people so I can get ready – it’s not as easy for me, but I’m still going to try.”

If Santino does not score his goal to win in the United States, he said it was back to the drawing board for another year.

“[I will go back] to nationals, back to state titles, restart everything until I am selected again,” he said.

Santino said he was hoping compete at more international competitions to add to his credentials.

Santino thanked Frank and Carlo from Symon Brothers Construction, who have helped him progress his boxing career through sponsorship.

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