16-year-old Ballina High student Jamal Roberts is hoping for a bright future in boxing. Doug Eaton.
16-year-old Ballina High student Jamal Roberts is hoping for a bright future in boxing. Doug Eaton.

Family tradition continues

BALLINA boxer Jamal Roberts has only had one amateur fight, but coach Denis Magnay is already predicting big things for the 16-year-old.

His grandfather Lindsay Roberts was a North Coast amateur champion who turned professional and had a big following in the 1960s.

Magnay believes Jamal can replicate that form.

“He (Jamal) has the same physic as Lindsay and is shaping up as a real prospect,” he said.

“Jamal is a 67kg welterweight and we want to get him a shot at the state title before the end of the year.”

Roberts fights out of the Ballina Island club and has another big fight at Gatton in Queensland next month.

“He’s had the one fight and won it convincingly and I’ve tested him at training against some of the bigger boys,” Magnay said.

“Jamal’s family encouraged him to get in to boxing this year and he has been incredibly committed to training during the last five months.” Meanwhile Ballina RSL Youth Club is busy organising their annual boxing tournament and celebrity fight night on June 25.

Coach Casey O’Donnell will step in to the ring against Christian Booker who coaches at the Evans Head Boxing Club.

The pair had some bruising encounters in the 1990s for the Australian Golden Gloves title and it will be the first time they have faced each other in 20 years.

“We’re looking to have about 10 amateur fights, three exhibition and four special attraction celebrity fights on the night,” O’Donnell said.

Forty-two-year-old Kevin Clarke is searching for an opponent and will be one of the local Ballina sporting identities involved.

Anyone looking to take part in a celebrity bout can phone the club on 66860744 for more information.



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