I first came across Clay Waterman when he was a kid a Park Ridge Primary School.
I was watching my son play basketball with his mates when a heated kafuffle broke out at the other end of the court.
I was surprised when the biggest kid in the group was pushed against the fence and didn’t retaliate.
It wasn’t that he was intimidated – he looked like he could have taken them all on, but instead, with calm confidence, he restrained himself and defused the situation.
I was so impressed that I asked my son who the big kid was, “That’s Clay Waterman” he said.
Fast forward 15 years and that kid has continued to use his strong will and self discipline to build a boxing career that has taken him around the world.
His amateur record stands at 160 fights with 147 wins and has included being crowned the Junior World Champion (2011) and semi-finalist in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (2018 – Men’s 81kg).
“Being in the athlete’s village and mixing with athlete’s from other countries was an amazing experience”, he said.
Completing his schooling at Park Ridge High, Clay attributes much of his success to his parents.
“While boxing runs deep in our family, I’m really thankful for what my parents have taught me about character and morals and attitude. And they have given me so many great opportunities to do what I love.”
After fifteen years in amateur boxing, Clay believes that now is the right time for him to go professional.
“It’s a big step but I think I’ve been ready for it for a couple of years and I just wanted to wait till I felt the time was right”, he said.
“My debut professional fight will be in March this year, down in Sydney.”
“There’s a lot for me to learn about the business side of going professional. I’ve got a great manager and we’re on the hunt for good sponsors that can go on the journey with us.”
The Beaudesert born boxer was part of Jimboomba Bushranger’s celebrity team in the Pink Stumps charity cricket match on 1 Feb.
The match raised much needed funds for the McGath Foundation.
Event organiser, Scott Bannan said, “It was great to have so many local athletes and celebrities like Clay, come together to support this cause.”
Follow Clay Waterman’s journey at @claywaterman96