1 July, 2024

Tough duo fight on

TWO up-and-coming boxers from the local Pretty Top Team gym have taken gold in their first statewide competition at the NQ Games and are gearing up for their next battle in Brisbane.

By Isabella Guzman Gonzalez

Boxers Marlin Jones (left) and Elisha Robati have won gold medals. Picture: Isabella Guzman Gonzalez
Boxers Marlin Jones (left) and Elisha Robati have won gold medals. Picture: Isabella Guzman Gonzalez

Marlin Jones, 24, from Trinity Beach and Elisha Robati, 23, from Woree took the gold in boxing at the NQ Games in early May in the 75kg and 80kg categories in what would be their first competition at the state level, highlighting the growing boxing community in Cairns.

The young duo is quite new to the fight scene with Jones being the more seasoned of the pair with seven years’ experience and eight local fights under his belt while Robati, who has a boxing background from his father, started boxing three years ago. 

Both attribute their success at the NQ Games to their current coach Paul Hosking and gym Pretty Top Team where Jones has been training for a year and Robati for the last four months.

Jones defeated a local fighter, Ryan Tetely, for the gold in the 75kg category and he says it was an unforgettable experience.

“NQ Games was a good way to showcase what we’ve learned in the lead up to it. I’ve been coming every afternoon, training really hard, so it was amazing to be able to put on a good performance for friends and family,” Mr Jones said.

“A lot of southerners think that we don’t have as much experience, so I’m really proud to be representing North Queensland.

“I feel like our advantage was our style which our coach at Pretty Top has taught us, very technical, you’re picking your shots and not allowing your opponent to hit you.”

Robati, who defeated southeast fighter Oliver Bond, for gold, said these wins would help highlight the growing FNQ boxing community.

“What I enjoyed the most was meeting boxers from so many different gyms, especially from down south, really building up the boxing scene in FNQ,” Robati said.

“I ended up fighting a guy from down south, Oliver Bond, which was awesome because it’s a new connection, and I’m sure he gets a lot of specialised training, so it was encouraging to step into the ring with someone I knew was going to be good. 

"I knew that I was going to walk out of this fight a lot better, so I enjoyed it a lot.”

Building up the momentum from their win at the NQ Games the pair is preparing to fight for the Golden Gloves in Brisbane this August and later at state titles.


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