Youth Olympics big stage for Murdoch

Boxer Kasib Murdoch and coach Bryan Usher have been busy training for the Youth Olympics in...
Boxer Kasib Murdoch and coach Bryan Usher have been busy training for the Youth Olympics in Argentina. Photo: Peter McIntosh
There are those out there who think being a boxer is about just throwing a good punch — being a bit of a brawler.

Well, it probably could not be further from the truth.

Life for promising Dunedin boxer Kasib Murdoch is one of dedication and discipline, training endlessly, watching everything you put in your mouth and  trying to stay focused on school work.

But all that hard work  has its reward.  Next week  he heads to Auckland to join the New Zealand team which is off to the Youth Olympics, for athletes  18 or under, in Argentina.

Murdoch (17),  a year 13 pupil at Kaikorai Valley College, is in the under-60kg division at the competition in Buenos Aires.

He was unsure who he would come up against among the 10 fighters, who come from countries all round the world.But his experiences of fighting this year in Australia, Samoa and then Taiwan should help him when he gets into the ring.

Murdoch said his eyes  had been opened  through travel this year.

"I had not been outside New Zealand before this year. But when you go to these places you have got to train most of the time," he said.

"When I went to Taiwan I saw a bit of the markets but that was about it. But I don’t mind — when I get to Argentina I am going there to compete."

He  will  leave Auckland next Wednesday.  The  competition will begin three days later.

The boxing starts on October 9 but when his first bout is unclear at this stage.

He was excited to be on such a  big stage.  Long term he wanted to compete at the senior Olympics and be a world champion.

But that  took sacrifices.

Sticking to the weight was part of that. He floats up between 61-62kg so has to trim down to get right for the weight when he fights.

"There is a lot of chicken and veges. But I have got a nutritionist now and that has really helped. Before that I didn’t really know what I was doing.

"That’s got me eating more but it is still pretty strict."

So the fish and chips is out and there is no ice cream.

Murdoch  said he does not mind the diet.He is on a path to the top and the sacrifices he makes  are  just part of the life.

He used to fight in MMA events but has given those up as it created bad habits, he said. Bryan Usher  has been his coach ever since he started boxing.  He will not be going to Argentina but and will  nonetheless be keeping track of  his charge.

Murdoch will be joined by Hamilton’s Te Mania Shelford in the boxing team. She will contest the women’s under-57kg class.

• Sky Television has a dedicated pop-up channel for the Youth Olympics starting next weekend. 

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