Woods targets open title

TAREE boxer Henry Woods now has his sights on a State open title after winning a NSW novice championship.

Woods, 17, won the title when the referee stopped the fight following the second round in the bout held in Sydney. He was fighting in the 64kg division for boxers with 0-4 fights.

Woods in the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.

He’s now had five fights for four wins and a loss. Woods has endured a year truncated by leg and arm injuries and has only just resumed full time training at the Taree PCYC under Peter Lewis.

He can’t even recall how he broke his arm.

“It was hurting but I kept training,’’ he said.

However, when the pain didn’t subside he had scans that revealed the injury. This meant he had to take a break from training, which he said was frustrating. 

Tall, he uses his reach to advantage and he said this proved to be important during his fight for State title.

“I tried not to let him in too close,’’ he said.

“That seemed to work pretty well.’’

He rated his chances ‘half and half’ going into the title bout.Woods said he was ‘a bit nervous’ before the stoush, but once the bell sounded the butterflies disappeared. He had more important things to worry about he figured.

 Now he’s keen to test himself against more experienced opposition and he’ll start preparing for the State open championships to be held next year. He enjoys fighting at 64kgs and believes he’ll be able to maintain the weight even if he starts to fill out.

“I’ve got a bit of leeway there,’’ he said.

Woods started boxing four years ago at the Taree PCYC gym. He previously hadn’t been all that interested in the sport known as ‘the sweet science.’

“A mate was going to having a go, so I went with him,’’ he explained.

It was a good decision, he said

“I love it.’’

He now trains five days a week, three hours a day and not surprisingly, he doesn’t have time for any other sports.

Woods practiced karate when he was younger, following his parents into the activity.

"It was alright,’’ he said.

“But it wasn't really my go. I prefer boxing.”

Woods isn't sure when his next fight will be, although he's happy to travel. He knows he needs more ring time to get a start at State open level. All his fights have either been locally or in Sydney but he doesn’t mind travelling further afield.

His ambition is to box professionally, but he knows he has work to do yet before he achieves that goal.

“I’m 17 and I’d like to turn pro when I’m 19,’’ he said.

“I have to get a few more fights and get some more experience.’’

Boxer and this week's sportstar, Henry Woods with Jesse Shilling from award sponsor, Iguana.

Boxer and this week's sportstar, Henry Woods with Jesse Shilling from award sponsor, Iguana.

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