Shelley Watts and Jessica Messina exhibition bout at Wauchope a standout

THERE were no winners and losers when Jessica Messina and Shelley Watts entered the ring at Wauchope on Saturday night.

But that didn’t mean they held back as the two boxers traded blows in an entertaining exhibition bout.

It was the first time in 401 days since Watts had fought and she labelled the fight as “interesting”.

“Jess and I always have a good spar together, but it was the first time I’d fought in three-minute rounds,” Watts said.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist said while it was an exhibition bout and no result was recorded, their competitive nature showed.

“That’s the beauty about having an exhibition,” she said.

“We weren’t being lazy because we were still in front of people and you don’t want to disappoint them; you want to make an impression.”

When asked if the fact it wasn’t a result mattered, Watts said “it always matters”.

“It’s always good to get in the ring and under the lights,” she said.

“There’s always things to work on and hopefully I’ll get a bit more ring time between now and the Comm Games trials.”

Messina said she enjoyed the opportunity to get in the ring with her regular sparring partner.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” she said.

“When you’re out there you don’t focus on the result so it isn’t really a fight.

“There are things you learn when you’re out there and you can get caught so you practice without having many consequences if you make a mistake.”

The Port Macquarie boxer then made her refereeing debut.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking, but when you’re reffing you see so much more,” she said.

Messina said she would use her refereeing experience to help with her boxing ability.

“You can feel the mistakes and you can see the holes and the movements that each boxer is making,” she said.

“When you’re out there as a boxer you do have tunnel-vision.”

Wauchope Boxing Club were proud of how they performed overall during the night.

Brock Hollis kicked off the night for the team, winning his fight by technical knockout and was also awarded best local boxer.

Skye Hollis was the second competitor who also won by TKO and was awarded best female boxer of the night.

Trainer Dave Thurtell said the fight between Beau Dark and Port Macquarie’s Matthew Bruce could have gone either way.

“Beau Dark unfortunately didn’t get the decision in a very close fight against Matthew Bruce, but is a champion nonetheless in our eyes,” Thurtell said.

“Well done, all of you,” he said.

“It takes a big heart to put yourself in a boxing ring and your club and town are more than proud.”


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