Horsley Park boxer books his place in the Australian team for the Youth Commonwealth Games

After three years of boxing Horsley Park resident Mark Borg is an Australian champion.

The 17-year-old won the Australian under-19s nationals title in Adelaide recently in the light welterweight division, sealed with an unanimous points decision over Western Australia’s Harry Suter.

“I’ve always wanted to be the national champion and I finally did it,” he said.

“Last year, I got silver so this year I wanted the gold and it was good.”

It hasn’t always been an easy journey to the top for the self confessed “little skinny kid with no coordination” when he started. Then there was the travel which included regular two-hour plus round trips from school to St Marys for training.

But it has been worth it.

With his win, Mark has booked his place in the Australian team for the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas in July.

“I remember thinking that it would be so great to represent my Australia and have the Australian flag on my shirt. To represent Australia and win a medal would just be crazy. To win a gold medal at nationals was good enough but this would be even better,” he said.

“The main goal is to win gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games and then qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

“Then it’s the 2020 Olympics, which is the ultimate goal for any amateur boxer. That’s where I want to be."

Close bond: National under-19s 64kg champion Mark Borg with his trainer Eric McArdle. "Eric’s not just a trainer to me, he’s like my best mate. Everything he tells me, I have no doubt that it will work." Picture: Andrew McMurtry

Close bond: National under-19s 64kg champion Mark Borg with his trainer Eric McArdle. "Eric’s not just a trainer to me, he’s like my best mate. Everything he tells me, I have no doubt that it will work." Picture: Andrew McMurtry

Training at Ultimate Training Centre in St Marys under the tutelage of Eric McArdle, Mark took up boxing after he was having a hard time at school.

McArdle, himself a successful amateur boxer, said Mark is a smart kid who has achieved a lot in such a short amount of time.

“To see where Mark has come from and where he is now, it’s through hard work and dedication,” he said.

“Mark is a pleasure to train because when I tell him something, he’ll do it. He’ll work on it, not just at the gym, he’ll go home and practise.”

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