Undefeated boxer Troy O’Meley won the biggest fight of his career by claiming his first Australian championship earlier this month.
O’Meley, who travelled to Narrabri in December to support the East Cessnock Bowling Club’s drought relief toy drive, claimed the Australian Super Welterweight Championship in a unanimous points decision victory over Queensland opponent Adrian Rodriguez.
In O’Meley’s corner for the fight was his ‘adopted grandmother’ and former Narrabri resident Marlene Hartog.
Marlene has been the chief executive of the East Cessnock Bowling Club for 26 years and in that time she has built a close bond with O’Meley.
“We’ve just taken to him as family,” said Marlene.
“He’s just a lovely natured boy who will do anything for anyone.
“It’s unbelievable that he is number one in Australia in that weight division.
“He deserves it all.”
The bout was Rodriguez’s first title defence and the champion started the fight well, knocking O’Meley down for a count of eight in the opening round before
O’Meley recovered back to his feet to continue the fight.
The competitors then clashed heads which caused a cut above O’Meley’s left eye, hindering his vision for the remainder of the bout.
O’Meley fought his way back into the contest by outperforming and outscoring his opponent to earn the unanimous points decision win.
The victory was O’Meley’s 11th consecutive win with two coming via knockout and nine by decision.
His 11th win was made that little bit sweeter as it came in front of O’Meley’s home crowd of East Cessnock.
O’Meley’s three-month camp, prior to the fight, came after his trip to Narrabri and he said that journey to the north-west region played a role in his victory.
“It all definitely played a part,” he said.
“I love to give my all in whatever I do and in boxing you have to give your all.
“And coming out to Narrabri and giving to the people in need it makes me feel good about myself so that I know I can give it my all in other areas of my life.”
O’Meley said the East Cessnock crowd played a part in his win and after his hand was raised he delivered on one of his promises to his home crowd.
“It was so good having the support of the locals around me,” he said.
“And I work at the ECBC so that was great too.
“Before the fight I said I’d walk home with the belt.
“So after the fight I left the club and walked home with the belt over my shoulder.”
O’Meley said he will now look to defend his title and move up the rankings in order to secure an international title fight.
“My ultimate goal is to be the undisputed world champion of my division,” he said.
“What’s next is that I’ll probably defend this belt or challenge for a regional belt.
“I’ll just keep trying to step up from here.”
O’Meley will remain on top of the super welterweight division for the foreseeable future with all boxing matches in Australia being postponed due to the current coronavirus pandemic.To order photos from this page click here