Aboriginal affairs

A golden return

Boxer Ty Narkle returned to the ring in the best possible way on July 10, taking out the Australasian Golden Gloves 60kg title in his home city of Perth.

Narkle defeated fellow Western Australian Billy Polkinhorn on Friday the 8th, before besting Mohamed Gaye in the competition final two days later, in what were his first fights in more than a year.

It was an emotional return for Narkle, who was told he would never box again after suffering an eye injury last year.

“I remember thinking [during the final] ‘this is what I wanted the whole time I was out; I have to give it everything I’ve got’,” Narkle said.

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Narkle with the 60kg title (Photo: Alasdair Beer)

“All my family and my girlfriend’s family were there, so I had a lot of support, which was great … when they put the belt on me I gave a big wave to everyone in the crowd.”

The Forrestfield-based boxer said the time he spent away from the ring during his recovery had helped him to mature as a fighter.

“My coach [Peter Scott] said it was the best he’d ever seen me box … a lot of people in the crowd said I boxed twice as well as before I got hurt,” Narkle said.

“I had about 15 months out … I studied a lot of other fighters, and I was actually coaching people, so I got to see things I could work on for myself.”

Narkle set the goal of testing himself against the best on his return, and said defeating Polkinhorn had given him great confidence going into the final.

“Billy has had about 80 fights, and he’s a good fighter … I’ve only had about 24, so I had to be really smart against him,” he said.

After defeating Polkinhorn, the evasive Narkle used his speed to notch a win against the taller Gaye.

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“Mohamed is a big guy, but I got under his reach and managed to get the win,” Narkle said.

And, despite requiring stitches on the eye that had previously been damaged, Narkle said he felt in good shape after his return.

“I got hit there, and there was a bit of blood, but I’m not hurt and it doesn’t seem to have done anything,” he said.

“If I keep fighting now, and get myself prepared for the Commonwealth Games, I reckon I’ll give myself a good chance of qualifying.

“To win something like the Golden Gloves belt after such a long journey back is a big step.”

Featured image courtesy of Troy Cook, Wirrpanda Foundation.

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