Augusta boxers share dream

Two young boxers share same big dream

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When it comes to personalities, Nicholas Torrance and Justin Deloach are complete opposites.

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Justin Deloach (left) spars with chief trainer Ray Whitfield on Wednesday at the Augusta Boxing Club, which will hold the Region 3 Southeast Junior Olympic Boxing Championships this week.   Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Justin Deloach (left) spars with chief trainer Ray Whitfield on Wednesday at the Augusta Boxing Club, which will hold the Region 3 Southeast Junior Olympic Boxing Championships this week.

Torrance carries a low-key, quiet demeanor, seemingly embarrassed to even begin talking about the litany of awards he has compiled in his junior boxing career.

Deloach never met a conversation he wasn't ready to have. The lively 16-year-old exudes confidence both in and out of the ring.

For all of their differences, however, the two Augusta Boxing Club fighters share a close friendship and a common goal: becoming national junior boxing champions.

The two fighters will take another step in that direction when they compete in the Region 3 Southeast Junior Olympic Boxing Championships beginning Friday at the Augusta Boxing Club.

The tournament, which features boxers from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, will be the first major junior boxing event held at the gym.

Winners advance to the National Junior Olympic Championship at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on June 17-20.

"They work well together," chief trainer and reigning NABO flyweight champion Ray Whitfield said of the young fighters. "They train together, they've been around each other for about six or seven years now. There is a real good relationship between Justin and Nick."

Deloach and Torrance both won regional titles a year ago, but because of a minimum age rule requiring fighters to be at least 15 years old to advance to nationals, only Deloach was allowed to make the trip.

"I'm hoping we can go to nationals together this year," said Deloach, who finished runner-up in the nationals last year. "I've been there so I know what I have to do. I know what to expect. This time, I'm trying to help Nick get there, too."

Said Torrance:"I really want to get to nationals and Justin is always doing whatever he can to help me out."

Deloach will see his first action in the 15-16, 145-pound division on Friday night when he competes in the semifinals.

Because of limited entries in Torrance's 15-16, 125-pound division, he automatically advances to Saturday's finals against Ricky Tomlinson, whom Torrance has defeated twice before.

The teammates, the Augusta Boxing Club's oldest students and only two boxers competing this weekend, spend most of their time sparring one another.

Just like their personalities, their boxing styles differ as well.

Deloach uses his quickness and length to land punches while Torrance prefers to brawl, scoring most of his points in close quarters.

The contrast in techniques allows one to learn from the other. And even though they are buddies, you won't see Deloach and Torrance taking it easy on each other in the ring.

"When I spar with Nick, I feel like if I don't give it my all, I'm cheating him and if he doesn't give me his all, he's cheating me," Deloach said.

"So when we're in the ring, I like for both of us to be very aggressive."

But the aggression ends there.

As much as they strive to be the best junior fighters in the ring, they both say that there is absolutely no rivalry between them.

"They always say that there are no friends in the ring. We don't pay any attention to that. We're family," Deloach said.

If you go

WHAT: Region 3 Southeast Junior Olympic Boxing Championships

WHERE: Augusta Boxing Club, 1929 Walton Way

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m. each night

TICKETS: $15 for adults, $5 for children

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call (706) 733-7533 or visit www.augustaboxing.org


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