From Australind to Armenia, boxing prodigy Nathaniel May is aiming to make his mark on the international stage this weekend.
The 17-year-old has already turned in an impressive 12 months of performances, but if he has his way it is about to get a lot bigger.
May left for the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia, on Monday as part of a seven-man Australian team and has set his sights on coming home with a medal.
The gun pugilist, who plans to turn professional next year, will compete in the 56kg category at the knockout tournament.
As part of his training, May has been sweating it out for six hours per day and also travels to Perth up to three times per week for sparring against some of Australia’s best fighters.
May said his coach, Pete Stokes from Denning Boxing Gym, had managed to squeeze plenty into his already bulging training regime.
“He comes up with some pretty weird things. You have to just go with it,” May said.
“We’ve been doing more punches, more angle moves and more running.
“There’s also been sparring against harder guys."
May counts three-division world champion Vic Darchinyan, Perthbased pro Brandon Ogilvie and 69kg State champion Daniel Hayes among his sparring partners.
The results have been coming thick and fast for May this year.
He sealed his ticket to the world championships in September with an ultra-impressive performance at the Oceania Cup in Tahiti. Fighting in the 56kg youth class, May, 17 defeated Shannon McSkimming from New Zealand and Alfonso Direragea from Nauru in unanimous points decisions to claim the crown.
Both bouts were fought over three three-minute rounds.
May holds several State elite titles in various weight categories and was in October named the Myles Junior Sports Star of the Year.
Earlier this month he claimed the South West Academy of Sports Emerging Star award.
He is well accustomed to travelling off the well-trodden tourist routes and last year competed in Kazakhstan for the world championships.
May said his previous experience of fighting abroad had prepared him well for the ring.
“I’m more confident going in this time. Hopefully I can bring back a medal but its going to be a hard task,” he said.
“I’d like to come back with bronze at least. It would be good to bring back gold.”The AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships start this Sunday and run until December 8.
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