LOCAL boxer Tristan Maskell has revealed plans to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, in 2022.
Maskell, 21, of Bonnells Bay, outlined his strategy this week after winning his second Australian Amateur Boxing League (AABL) cruiserweight title (81kg to 86kg) in dominant style.
Fighting at Punchbowl shortly before Christmas, Maskell stopped both of his opponents in the first round.
He defeated Jack Clements, of Newcastle, about a minute into the first bout, then knocked down Layton Hills twice to force an early stoppage in the medal fight.
Clements had previously gone the distance with Maskell in a fight that Maskell won via a split decision to claim the NSW cruiserweight title.
Maskell was expecting another testing bout against Clements in Punchbowl, but the Lake Macquarie boxer landed a telling early blow.
"I used my jab and then stopped him with a left hook," Maskell said.
He was similarly dominant in the fast win over Hills.
Maskell unleashed a rip to the body to force Hills down beside the ropes. Hills took a standing eight count, but could not keep Maskell at bay once the fight resumed.
"I was able to knock him down again soon after with a straight right," Maskell said.
"I'm now hoping to make the Australian Commonwealth Games team in 2022 and to turn professional after that," Maskell said.
The rangy orthodox boxer said he would switch to fighting in Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) bouts, which was "the pathway to Australian selection".
Maskell said he expected fighting at AIBA-sanctioned events would enable him to box more often.
He'd like to have 10 to 15 fights in 2020, he said.
He's also mixing up his training schedule.
"I had been training twice a day, for five days a week. But we're going to change that to once a day, seven days a week," he said.
Maskell paid tribute to Cessnock's young boxing sensation Zack Fitzpatrick who claimed his fourth consecutive national title in Punchbowl.
Fitzpatrick, 15, who sometimes trains alongside Maskell with the teenager's mentor Ben Crampton at Toronto, defeated Sydney boxer Jerome Nebut to win the Australian junior 51kg amateur title.