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Watts wins gold and named boxer of tournament in Poland

Australian boxer Shelley Watts says she’s ready to take on the world after winning gold and being named boxer of the tournament at a major international tournament in Poland.

The Commonwealth Games gold medalist won gold in the 60kg division at the International Silesian Tournament, beating top-class opponents from Germany, Hungary and Russia on her way to the title.

Fellow Australian, Kristy Harris, won gold in the 51kg division, while promising teenager Caitlin Parker won bronze in the 69kg class.

The gold medal continues an outstanding European tour for Harris, who last week won gold at a tournament in Russia.

Both Watts and Harris boxed at the same Polish tournament in 2013, where they both picked up silver medals.

“I was very confident heading into the tournament with how I’d been training,” Watts said.

“I’ve been picking up more and more of what our national head coach has been pressing on me while training at the AIS. In shadow, I felt sharp and light on my feet, and it came out in the ring.”

“I felt like I was able to box smarter than my opponents, and use my distance and shots to pick them apart.”

Watts made history last year when she became Australia’s first female boxer to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

She was also full of praise for the performance of her young Victorian teammate.

“Kristy dominated the 51kg division, beating the home country favourite and then a tall, skilled southpaw from Azerbaijan in the final,” Watts said.

“She fought the whole tournament with good footwork, fast straight punches and dominated in skill over her opponents.”

Watts has now set her sights on competing at next year’s Rio Olympics. She’ll get a chance to really test herself at next year’s World Championships, but couldn’t be happier with her progress.

“I’m stoked to have it all coming together,” she said.

“The more I can get in front of international opponents, the better I’ll be able to test myself and see what I need to do to secure my spot to Rio.

“I’m very confident that I have what it takes to shake up the 60kg weight category at worlds next year to ensure I make Rio.”

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Ross Solly is a journalist with more than 30 years experience. Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, politics. Radio, television, newspapers, public relations. Social media whiz. Founder of Ross Solly Media. www.rosssollymedia.com. You can follow Ross on twitter: @rosssolly

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