THE second instalment of my two-part series profiling local boxers sees the focus shift to another young man making his professional debut at tonight’s ‘Friday Night Fights’ in Canberra.
‘Diamond’ Dave Toussaint, 21, has served quite an apprenticeship as an amateur boxer.
And his years of hard training will no doubt come to the fore when he joins fellow Queanbeyan fighter Filipe Ferreira as the co-main event on tonight’s card.
Toussaint began his journey in the ring as an eight-year-old when he first picked up the gloves at the local PCYC in Lismore.
Training with his father, he fast developed a passion for the sport and made his amateur debut at the tender age of 12.
Since then, Toussaint has gone on to rack up 69 amateur fights.
Among his other achievements, Toussaint represented Australia at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008 and is also a three time winner of the prestigious ‘golden gloves’ amateur competitions.
In 2012, Toussaint was cruelly denied a trip to the London Olympics when he lost the national championships final by one point in a controversial decision.
It’s these experiences that will no doubt help him when he steps into the ring against Sydney based boxer Khosrow Minoo at the Hellenic Club tonight.
“I’ve been boxing for a long time now and I’ve learnt something in all my previous bouts so that will help me,” Toussaint told me.
“Experience will help me stay calm and focused before the fight but I’m raring to go and feeling excellent.”
Toussaint moved to the region at age 16 and fine-tuned his talent at the Bulldog Gym in Queanbeyan which has produced champions like Ben Edwards.
Like Ferreira, he is also under the tutelage of coach Garry Hamilton.
It must be something in the Hamilton handbook but Toussaint is also a humble man who intends to let his gloves do the talking.
I asked the young pugilist what he considered to be his strengths and he was swift in his response.
“Definitely my explosive punching and hand speed. Part of a good skill set is also nimble footwork so I’m hoping to use all of these to my advantage,” Toussaint explained.
Toussaint is fighting in the super middleweight division and has had no problem getting to the required 76kg weight.
“I’m coming off a win against the Australian amateur champion at 81kg so I’m confident…I know I have prepared as well as possible,” he said.
A massive night awaits for our local boys and two wins from two would cap off a great event.
‘Friday Night Fights’ is on tonight at the Hellenic Club in Woden. Limited tickets remain by calling event promoter Nick Boutzos on 0403 147 999.