Park Ridge State High School student Christopher Hendren dominated his age and weight division at the Boxing Queensland State Titles with first place on the 18th-19th September 2021.
The 14-year-old rising star fought in the Under 15’s 52-kilogram competition at the Acacia Ridge Hotel.
“Before the fight I was a little nervous,” he said.
“During most of my fights I’m a little bit nervous, my palms get itchy and start sweating a little bit before the fight.
“Then I hop in the ring – that’s probably when I get the most nervous.
“Then the bell goes, and you just switch off and let your instincts come over while trying to listen to your coach.”
Christopher entered two fights over two days at the QLD State Titles and took first place in the final competition.
“After the fight I was proud, and very excited,” he said.
Chris had clear goals for his future in boxing and planned to represent Australia at the 2024 Olympics.
“I want to be the first Australian to win gold,” he said.
Brisbane Boxing co-owner and coach Khuram Nasir said Chris remained undefeated for the sixth time in the past year.
He hadn’t lost a fight since joining Brisbane Boxing in early 2019, and had only lost one round.
“He’s dominating his division at the moment, and with that comes confidence, and with confidence special things happen,” Khuram said.
“He’s got a long-term goal; he’s obviously going to the Olympics.”
Chris trained at Brisbane Boxing in Mount Gravatt five days a week after school, and on Saturdays at home.
He also worked on “fight study” with his coaches, which meant performance reflection and opponent research.
Khuram said Chris was the junior fighters team captain at Brisbane Boxing and coached the Peewee under 12’s class.
“The young kids look up to him cause he runs the show … he’s got great leadership skills,” Khuram said.
Christopher’s mother Kylie said he started boxing one month before his 10th birthday at the Fight Right gym, where they discovered his passion for boxing.
“He was there for six months and then we moved on to MBA, and he was with Mac for three years; they sort of refined his fighting style.
“MBA closed and we came here in the beginning of 2019.”
Christopher said he had to overcome a mental challenge with boxing in the past.
“I just wasn’t feeling myself, and had extreme self-doubt,” he said.
“I doubted myself and everything I did for three fights.
“I got one win, and that built my confidence so I could stop doubting myself and realise ‘I can do this – I think’.”
Kylie said Chris had sustained no injuries in boxing so far.
“It’s been a long road, a lot of dedication, a lot of hours, but large rewards – what you put in is what you’re going to get out,” she said.
“I think more parents need to get their kids into stuff like boxing.
“It’s got a bad rep, because it is boxing and you can get punched in the face – but there’s so much more to it – it’s the mental game, the physical and the fitness side of it.”
Chris said his biggest supporters included his mother Kylie, his coaches Khumar and Kamran Nasir, and the other boxers at Brisbane Boxing.
Khuram said Chris’s achievements were a credit to Chris’s mum, who sacrificed a lot to make her children’s dreams a reality.
Chris was also involved in the AFL Academy excellence program at Park Ridge State High School, where he attended formal classes and training sessions four days a week.
Chris would have gone to nationals this year, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to Covid.
“Next year when I win states again, I’ll be going to nationals,” he said.