Training out of the Port Macquarie Boxing Club, Jessica Messina is the current Australian Elite Female 75kg Australian Boxing Champion .
What was the journey to the Australian Title like?
The journey I had for the Australian Titles was a bit rough at first. A couple of months ago I wasn’t ready, and my trainers told me that. About a month before, it just clicked; it’s either go hard now and get to that level, or just don’t go at all, really. So a month before, something clicked. I was training hard and getting better and better, and I’m really wrapped with how it went. There was a time there where I was thinking these girls have got more experience, but I have the heart, and that’s what I put into it.
How did you feel in the final?
I got up there really nervous, knowing it was an Australian Title. But as soon as those first couple of punches flew, I knew I was comfortable and I was where I wanted to be. That’s what I wanted, and nothing was going to stop me. The result was 13-7. I won on points.
I don’t know. I have just always loved it. A couple of my friends wanted to do it for fitness, so I came down with them. Being young, you only do what your friends do. I thought, “This is fun”. But they left, and I continued. It’s just something that’s in your blood forever.
What sort of training do you do?
I train 5 days a week. I do actual boxing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. I run every day, and on Tuesday and Thursday I train with the Travers family, and I do sparring. A typical training session starts off with a couple of rounds of skipping and then straight into sparring. Four rounds of sparring, and then four rounds of pads. And then I do weight work, more skipping, and warm up and warm downs are always important.
Who are your trainers?
I have four (trainers): Kev Raymond, Dean Groth, Paul Grant and Richie, and also John Travis sometimes as well.
Do you spar with boys?
I do spar with boys and I do get intimidated, but I think if I can train with the boys, then no girl is ever going to faze me – so it’s actually an advantage to me. When I spar with Kev, one of my trainers, it’s always great, because he fights a lot like me. So, it’s really good. We punch each other a lot, but sometimes I think I give it to him a bit more than he gives it to me.
When you’re in there and you’re getting hit, you can’t shy away; you have to step up and take it to them as much as they are giving it to you. There are always times where you get one or two that sting a bit, and I can’t lie – I’ve had a tear in my eye when they get through. But those punches make me want to go harder and get them back for what they did to you.
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from deep inside. I just think I always want to be number one. I think boxing is a great sport for that. It’s just you in the ring. Just you, so you’re going to be number one if you want it that much.
Will there be more pressure on you in the future now that you have the title?
Being the Australian champ, I think there would be an expectation to be the best in the country. So there will be a bit on me to live up to that. But if I keep going the way I am, nothing can stop me, I think.
Who has supported you to get to the title?
A big help to me have been all my trainers and my friends; they have all been really supportive. I would like to really thank Kev, Dean, Paul and Richie and especially John Travers and their family, because I train with them on a weekly basis.
Where to next?
In a few weeks’ time there is a selection camp coming up. There are going to be a fair few girls down there, but of the girls who are going, they will be selecting three to go away to Europe in April. So that’s my short term goal: to go overseas, train and fight there. And then the long term goal, hopefully make it to the Commonwealth Games. To get to the Commonwealth Games you have to have international experience, so this opportunity is everything to me.
This article can be found in issue 89 of Greater Port Macquarie Focus