Taking up boxing has given Wodonga’s George Webb-Rose a new lease on life.
The 16-year-old was going down a dangerous path which erupted last year when he seriously injured a fellow student in a fight at school.
Things had to change.
Under the guidance of trainer Corey Pyle, Webb-Rose was able to harness the negative energy and use it to his advantage in the ring.
After plenty of hard work, Webb-Rose will put it all on the line for the Victorian Amateur Boxing League’s Regional North Eastern Middle Weight title at Wodonga Racecourse on May 26.
Webb-Rose has an 8-1 record and a rematch with Lilydale fighter Ky Hodgson in the main event.
The Border product won the last meeting unanimously and is confident he can repeat the performance.
“I’ve been working pretty hard and I’m not going to let him beat me in front of everyone,” Webb-Rose said.
He started boxing at 14 to get fit for football at the weight of 89 kilograms, before falling in love with the sport.
Pyle has been blow away by his transformation not only as a fighter, but as a person.
“He was training hard and dropped four kilograms, which then he went on holidays and came back to me at 89 again,” Pyle said.
“Through a grueling six months of hard training and changing his diet, George worked himself down to his fight weight of 72.5kg, dropping 17.5 kilograms and leaving the bad negativity at school to join the workforce, where he’s part-time labouring and is looking to start an apprenticeship.
“You don’t find many people that train as hard as he does.
“He’ll run to training and then he’ll go to the oval and do sprints after training.
“I truly believe boxing has given George a positive change in his life and he’s looking to go places in the sport.”
Event organiser Lana Melbourne has been working hard with her father, Graeme, to deliver their first show in Wodonga.
After putting shows together for more than 20 years, Graeme, a Boxing Australia Life Member and stalwart of the sport in the region, is set to retire after the event.
“We’ve got a lot locals that are going to be stars on the night with George being one of them,” Lana said.
“We will have at least 10 other bouts.
“One of the main things we want to get across is this is an indoor event at the Exhibition Centre (at the racecourse).”
For booking information, phone 0421 081 952.