With eight wins for 10 fights under his belt, young Parkes boxer Ben Hayes is making quite a name for himself in the ring.
The 18-year-old’s latest and most impressive accolade is the Australian Title – Junior Welterweight under 63.5kg – he claimed at a Pound for Pound 2018 event at Narromine recently.
He also took home the trophy for Fight of the Night.
Hayes said he is very pleased with his win against 22-year-old Jye Taylor from Mt Druitt.
“It’s pretty good, I surprised myself,” he said.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it, he’s so much more experienced than me.
“He’s had twice my fights, 18 for two losses, which is a really good record.”
Hayes has been training at Tommy Ward’s boxing gym for five years and fighting for the last three.
Ward said Hayes is very competitive about his fitness.
“He really works hard,” he said.
“When he was training for this title fight he trained here for two hours then went home and trained for another hour or two, he’s very dedicated.”
Hayes had to lose 3kg to weigh in at 62.2kg at Narromine.
“That’s the lowest I’ll ever go,” he said.
“Probably the highest I’ll fight at is 67kg, lightweight.
“I should go about 64kg or 65kg for my next fight, which is an ordinary three rounder.”
“He has to defend that belt,” Ward laughed.
“Ben deserved his win, he trained really hard and he listens really well.”
Hayes has the utmost respect for both Tommy and assistant coach Ian Logan.
“Ian gets in one ear and Tommy gets in the other, they work together really well,” he said.
Logan said one of Hayes’ greatest attributes is he listens and he takes it all in.
“Benny’s achievement is pretty terrific I believe,” he said.
“And he’s done it all on his own just about. He goes to Dubbo for extra training, he arranges his own sparring.
“While Parkes has a lot of good sportsmen, a lot of them are team sports.
“When you get an individual who’s done what Benny’s done in the amount of time that he’s done it, it’s a big achievement, it really is.”
Ward said they have around a dozen learners currently using the gym.
“We use boxing to train boys, we don’t train boys to become boxers,” he said.
“We train boys to make young men out of them, it teaches them self discipline, to be in control.
“Boxing teaches them if they are in a fiery situation they can control their feelings.
“In the ring is like outside in life, you don’t always have a lot of time to make a decision.
“There’s only one bloke in there that can help you and that’s you, same in life really.”
Hayes is an apprentice motorcycle mechanic and enjoys camping and fishing in his spare time.
His next fight is on this Friday (April 6) in Gunnedah.
“Then the country titles sometime after that,” he said.
“I love the challenge, I love to work hard to get something I want.”