South Grafton boxer clinches ABL crown
BOXING: For most fighters it takes months of preparation to be ready for a title fight, but for South Grafton's Zac Cotten he only had minutes.
But it did not faze the South Grafton Rebels reserve grader, who after four rounds of physicality won the New England ABL Light Heavyweight championship.
"It was a shorter preparation than usual for the fight as it was," Cotten said. "I found out about the card on Facebook three weeks ago, and let my trainer know about it so he could book me onto it."
But when he turned up at the Armidale Ex-Services Club, Cotten found the words title fight next to his name on the fight card.
"I had no idea," he said. "I knew there were going to be a couple of title fights on the card but I wasn't supposed to be in one.
"They put up four belts on the night with a brother and sister from Nambucca winning two of them."
Cotten gave up almost 10kgs to his opponent which showed in the opening round when the local boy did not even get a punch in.
"I got pumped in the first round, I didn't get a single shot in," he said.
"But he knocked up pretty quick after that and I was just feeding him with a few body shots trying to cut him in half.
"I was pretty stoked with the result, it is good to have a championship."
The fight was Cotten's third ever fight after rejoining the sport nine months ago with Grafton trainer Dean Cribb.
"I used to do a lot of training with my brother Ryan when he was involved with the sport," Cotten said.
"I thought I might get back into the training side of things and then the opportunity to fight came up."
Cotten trains with Cribb about four times a week and attributes his early success to the ability and tenacity of his mentor.
"I have been with him for the whole nine months," he said. "He is great to fight under, he knows what he is talking about and he knows how to train.
"Next year I think we are lining up to take on the NSW State titles and possibly get a shot at the golden gloves."