Warrnambool teenager Isaak O’Rourke.WHEN most teenagers are fast asleep, Warrnambool teenager Isaak O’Rourke is working up a sweat boxing and running hills.
Nanjing Night Net

The daily routine which starts at 5.30am was rewarded on Sunday when the 16-year-old punched his way to a state title.

Isaak claimed the Victorian Novice and Intermediate Championship in the light welterweight (60kg) division at the Reggio Calabria Club in Parkville.

He claimed a 9-7 points decision in the three two-minute round bout.

Despite a punishing preparation that included sparring with world champion Sam Soliman, Isaak was surprised to get the judges’ decision.

“I thought it was pretty even,” he said of the fight.

“I was a little worried how I would go but when I got it I was just thrilled.

“You put in all the work to hear that, it was great.”

The Emmanuel College year 11 student said his preparation for the bout was more about him executing his plan rather than focusing on his opponent.

“From the start I wanted to go hard.”

It was a plan that worked, although after months of training he left nothing in reserve.

“It just goes like that, it’s the longest six minutes you’ll have.”

Isaak, who has a 3-1 win/loss record in amateur fights, said he wanted to take his career in the sport as far as he could.

While his next fight could be as soon as next month, his training will be varied as he steps up for his debut with South Warrnambool’s under 18 side.

He rated Sunday’s title the highlight of his short sporting career, which has largely been focused on team sports like football.

“You feel like you’ve done it on your own so there is probably a greater personal satisfaction,” he said.

Such is his commitment to training, his coach Warrnambool’s Rodney Ryan had to tell him to take this week off .

“The kid works so hard,” Ryan said. “He deserves every success he gets.”

Isaak, who took up boxing two-and-a-half years ago for fitness, said his win involved a lot of help from different people, including his family.

But he paid special tribute to the array of recreational boxers who train alongside him at Ryan’s gym, including Emmanuel College deputy principal Brian Brown.

“They are such a great support to me.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.