JESS Messina is about to embark on a demanding schedule to start the year that will see her head to Bulgaria, return home for a month before heading to Serbia and potentially Finland.
With just 18 months until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Port Macquarie boxer knows the hard work has only just started.
On Saturday, Messina will fly out for Sofia where she will compete at an international tournament to be held between February 13-20.
“It’s an international tournament because Boxing Australia are trying to get the elite athletes to as many fights as they can because we’re so far away from all the international tournaments,” Messina told the Port News.
“We try to go to the big ones throughout the year so we can get some experience for those benchmark tournaments like the world titles and the Olympics.
“Tokyo is the big one that everyone wants to be at, so that’s my main focus for now.”
The bout in Sofia next week will be the Port Macquarie boxer’s first bout since a split points’ decision in India last November.
“It depends how many girls are in my division but for this tournament I could have three or four fights in the welterweight (69 kilogram) division,” she said.
The result in India gave Messina her position in the top eight boxers in the world – but it is one she was motivated to improve on.
“The main focus for me would be to win and go and win gold over (in Bulgaria),” she said.
“But I just want to perform well and get a good sense of how I go with the other girls in my division over there.”
It would also enable her to dust off the pre-season cobwebs.
“I want to get the first couple of fights in for the year and put into action the things I’ve been learning and really perform good no matter the result,” she said.
“It’s all happening in the first part of the year.”
Following the trip to Bulgaria, Messina will briefly head home before she boards another plane bound for Serbia in April.
Over the last week, Messina has been preparing for her upcoming bouts at a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport.
“We’ve been training three times a day for the last week so it’s pretty much been eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep, train,” she said.
Messina also has her eyes on the Australian titles which will be held in June.
“They are the first pathway for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020,” she said.
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