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Fighting fit Josh ready to make boxing debut

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By MATT NICHOLLS

JOSH Balodis is too humble to say it but he’s proving to be an inspiration to those around him.

On Australia Day last year, the 36-year-old was 150kg and unhappy with his body.

Next month, he’ll step into the boxing ring more than 50kg lighter.

It will be his first official fight and he can’t wait for the March 27 bout in Mareeba.

“I’ve been in plenty of fights but this is the first one in a ring,” Balodis said with a laugh.

While the weight loss has been achieved through hard work with the Cape York Boxing Academy in Weipa, it can be attributed to a change in attitude.

“I just felt like crap. I was sick of being overweight so I decided to do something about it,” Balodis said last week.

“I rejoined the boxing club and went to work. The first 15kg came off really easy and then it got a lot harder.”

The results speak for themselves as Balodis now tips the scales at 98kg.

Trainer Scott Wallace said he was now ready for his first fight.

“He’s done all the work now we just have to get him ready for the actual fight,” he said.

“It’s harder in Weipa because we don’t have a permanent facility to train in, but we’ll get down to Cairns a couple of weeks before the fight and put a heap of work in.”

Balodis is currently training twice a day in readiness for his bout, which will be three, two-minute rounds.

“I’m up at 3.30am and training until 5 and then I’m back again after work.”

Currently working as the acting superintendent of electrical services at Rio Tinto, Balodis thanked Wallace and Cairns-based boxing legend Ken Dalton for their help.

“I wouldn’t be fighting next month if it wasn’t for them,” he said.

“When I’m in Cairns I’m always welcome to train at Ken’s gym in Redlynch.

“He’s a great supporter of the Cape York Boxing Academy.”

Having given up alcohol a year ago to help with the weight loss, Balodis said he wouldn’t be tempted to have a beer after his fight.

“I’m a changed person now. I don’t even miss it,” he said.

“It just goes to show that if I can do it, anyone can.”

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