NAMBUCCA Heads professional boxer Mitchell Whitelaw ended 2017 with a big bang – right to the face of a stubborn opponent in a promotion at Yamba.
The 22-year-old moved his career record to two wins and one draw after a testing encounter with the well regarded Adam Stowe at the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre.
And the bout almost didn’t take place as Mitchell caught a bug from his daughter, and was so ill on the day of the fight that his trainer, Ian ‘Sparra’ Stapleton, considered pulling him out.
“All southies are pretty difficult. He was hard to hit"Mitchell Whitelaw
“I’m not sure what it was but I just woke up on the Saturday and was spewing. I was flat out even getting out of bed,” Mitchell told the Guardian.
In a light heavyweight contest, Mitchell started the stronger and dropped Adam late in the first round for a standing eight count – but the remaining three rounds were mostly even affairs.
“All southies (Adam is a southpaw) are pretty difficult. He was hard to hit and he would never stay in the one spot. So I just thought I’ve got to pick my shots,” Mitchell said.
“When I dropped him in the first I thought well, I’ve got this round – and if I can get the next two that will get me the win unless he drops me.”
That strategy paid off as Mitchell went on to a split points decision.
Enjoying a Christmas break from work at a pre-cast concrete yard in Coffs Harbour, Mitchell said he will return to training in the New Year.
Sparra said he was delighted by his charge’s performance at Yamba “considering he was lucky to be at 50 per cent of capacity”.
“Mitchell’s got a very tight defence – that’s one of his strengths.”
While no engagements have yet been set for Mitchell in 2018, Sparra said there had been interest expressed from “Melbourne, Canberra and Queensland trainers”.
Sparra said he was also planning to run a pro-am fight night in the Nambucca Valley this year.