Seventeen-year-old Mace Eveleigh is making his way through the amateur boxing ranks and on Saturday he faced off with Alex Naman in a unanimous decision defeat at Bonnyrigg Sports Club in Sydney.
Despite the loss, Eveleigh was delighted with his performance and believes he deserved the victory against an opponent he had already beaten in June.
He spoke to the Gunnedah Times about his recent trip into enemy territory with trainer Michael Kleinschafer.
“I thought I fought really well, but the judges seemed to think differently,” Eveleigh said.
“I worked off his punches and every time he would throw a big single shot, I threw two or three back that connected. The judges must not have seen that.
“Watching the video back, it looks like he is pushing the action, but he was just walking forward into my punches, I was more active than he was.”
Although content with the performance, Eveleigh explained his disappointment with the result.
“It’s devastating, this was such a big fight for me, I put my heart and soul into it,” he said.
“We will take the loss and come out of it as a better fighter. We’ll see what we can work on and make the necessary changes.”
The four, two-minute rounds was a great opportunity for Eveleigh to learn and continue his development as a boxer. The rematch saw Eveleigh push the pace and having beaten Naman already, there was already a formula heading into the bout.
“I fought him in Bankstown in June,” Eveleigh said.
“Stylistically, we knew what to expect, his main style wasn’t going to change but he’s improved over time and it’s not to say he didn’t fight well – we both fought great.”
On what he could have done differently, Eveleigh said he stood in the pocket too much, allowing Naman to fight to his strengths.
“I think we need to work on using longer punches instead of staying in the pocket and on the inside,” he added.
“I boxed well but his style was on the inside and if I boxed longer, the judges may have seen the fight differently.
“It’s always hard travelling from a small country town to fight locals in Sydney but honestly I can’t say I lost because of the judges and it was Sydney. At the end of the day we both did a good job.”
The benefit of fighting as an amateur is the experience you can gain even from a loss. Records aren’t as big of a focus compared to when a boxer turns professional.
“It’s an amateur experience so it will help me in the long run,” Eveleigh said.
“The point of amateurs is to get that experience and you can learn as much from a loss as you do a win.”
With the year coming to an end, Eveleigh is hoping to have a break from fighting and training. Turning 18 next month, he plans on returning to Black N Blue boxing gym no later than February.
“It’s time to relax over the Christmas break, but I’ll be back training in the gym six times a week,” Eveleigh said.