Nationals call dedicated Aaron
HE IS 17 years old and has never smoked a cigarette or felt the froth of cold beer on his lips, but Aaron Phillips' dedication to a simple life could book him a spot at the London Olympics.
The Walloon Rebels-based welterweight (63-66kg) will compete against Australia's best teenage fighters, including several of Kostya Tszyu's prodigies, at the Australian Amateur Boxing Championships in Melbourne at the start of next month.
“I will win the competition for sure,” Phillips said.
“I'm not going to lose another fight in my career so of course I'm going to win it.
“My goal is the London Olympics next year. If I win these titles I go to the Junior Commonwealth Games in London at the end of the year and that will give me a chance to make the Olympic team.”
The confident teenager said he was so determined to become a professional boxer, he had shunned anything that could distract him from his dreams.
“When my mates are getting drunk, I just don't touch it,” he said.
“I still go to the parties but I'm happy being sober.
“I just want to be as fit as possible and be professional in how I prepare.
“If I start smoking and drinking then it will affect my training and I might not become the best.”
While his self hype may sound like arrogant boasts, Phillips has the record to back it.
In 72 fights he has lost only a dozen matches.
“But I won't be losing anymore fights, I want to remain unbeaten from here out,” Phillips said.
“I want to turn professional when I'm 21. I love boxing and it's what I want to do for a career.
“I am confident because I have to be. If you don't believe in yourself you will get smashed.”
Phillips' coach Robert Sbeghen said his charge had the potential to become a pro boxer.
“He's not just a good boxer, he's a good kid too,” Sbeghen said.
“He's a power puncher. For his size he hits really hard.
“I think he will turn pro in a few years. We want to get to the Olympics first though and then we will decide about a pro career.”
Phillips' favourite boxers are Toowoomba brawler Michael Katsidis and Roy Jones Junior's conqueror Danny Green.
“Both of those guys travelled a similar path to me and they're Aussie greats,” Phillips said.