Positivity fuels Boxing champion

December 19, 2018 BY

The champ: Ballarat lightweight, Jack Denahy is the best Lightweight Elite Australian boxer. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

WHEN Jack Denahy wanted to give boxing a go, it took some convincing to get his dad, Chris Denahy on board.

“No mate,” Mr Denahy would say, aware of the risks. “Stick with your plumbing. It’s not good for you.”

But when he realised he couldn’t stop his son from pursuing his interest in the sport, he decided to support him “all the way.”

Mr Denahy is very proud, and rightfully so. Now a 20-year-old, Denahy became the Lightweight Australian Elite Champion boxer earlier this month up in Brisbane.

Denahy attributes the big win to his mental preparedness. In this sport that is “90 per cent mental” and very gruelling, he understands how risky boxing can be.

He values constant visualisation of success, positive affirmations and the support of his generous, selfless sponsors.

“They’re not trying to get behind me for themselves, they’re just generally trying to help someone who’s putting everything towards their dream.”

Denahy works at Oscars Hotel and Café Bar on weekends, trains twice a day and commutes from Ballarat to East End boxing in Croydon five times a week.

“East End widened my game so much. Almost every time you’re in there, you’re in a state of competition because the sparring partners and the trainers are so good.”

Outside the boxing bubble, Denahy has lived in Buninyong all his life, attending Buninyong Primary School and St Patrick’s College.

“It’s great to have a lot of local support behind me, backing me.”

He said he’s always been an active kid, growing up playing golf, going mountain biking, doing gymnastics and mixed martial arts.

Fighting, however, was something he’d never tried until his teens and with a bit of research, he ended up at Brawl – now Body Connect – in Ballarat’s CBD.

“The first session I ever did, I just knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. I just fell in love with it.”

Denahy’s first boxing coach was Clinton Vermaak who is “ecstatic” about the Australian Championship title.

“He called it on the first day,” Mr Vermaak said. “He came into the gym and he said he wanted to be a world champion and he’s halfway there.”

Denahy is now looking ahead, as he prepares for The Pacific Games in Samoa and World Championships in Russia in 2019, and potentially the Olympics in 2020.

“I feel I’ll make an impact on the international scene,” he said.

Having watched his son’s growth, success and positivity, Mr Denahy is amazed at all he’s achieved with boxing.

“He showed me.”

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