Boxing trainer and owner of Forster's Deliver Sportz gym, Shane Nielsen, is hoping for wins across the board when four of his fighters head down to Lake Macquarie next month for the Box Camp Fight Night.
The main fight on the card will feature Nielsen's prized heavyweight, Shant Nercessian, who'll be making his professional debut against Jake 'The Snake' Snowden, brother of former Newcastle Knights player Kade Snowden.
Despite not fighting since 2007, Nercessian is confident heading into the bout, having kept up a steady training regime and with plenty of experience to draw on.
The former runner-up at the Australian titles had a distinguished amateur career, fighting more than 20 fights for only three losses.
"I feel good, I feel fit, I feel strong," he said.
"I've always wanted to become a pro fighter."
The 38-year-old admits at his age he's not sure about his path beyond this bout, but with his opponent having won all five of his professional fights, he's putting all his focus into the task at hand.
"I see he's got knock-out power in his overhand right and his left hook," Nercessian said.
"I have to be cautious. I'll be the boxer in there and if I see a gap I'll put him to sleep."
Joining the father of four on the night will be fellow dad Ben Pascoe, who, at 40, will be stepping into the ring for the first time in 10 years.
I think all the boys are going to win.Shane Nielsen
Forster born and bred, Pascoe actually grew up with Nielsen and credits the dedicated trainer with helping him get back in shape.
He begun boxing as a 15-year-old and has had three previous amateur fights, holding a record of two wins and one loss.
Like Nercessian, he's unsure of his plans beyond this bout, but is heading into it knowing he's done the hard work.
"I've been putting in six to seven training sessions a week," he said.
"I'm quietly confident."
The hard-punching middleweight admits he's nervous about returning to the ring, but excited as well.
"Once you get in there and get in the zone there's a lot of adrenaline," he said.
"There's nothing quite like it."
Making his fighting debut on the night will be 17-year-old Tuncurry local, Adam Koutts, who can't wait to step into the ring.
"It's just something I love doing," he said.
The Year 11 student from Great Lakes College has been boxing since he was 12 and credits Nielsen and his training partners for helping him prepare for the fight.
"I've been learning things off them everyday," he said.
"They're tough, they're fun, they're a good group of mates."
He sees his speed and agility as the keys to him winning the fight and doesn't want to stop at just one, with the goal of turning professional one day.
Also making his debut on the night will be 38-year-old Aaron Langley.
For Nielsen, training a group of fighters for the high-stakes challenge of stepping into a boxing ring is the culmination of a long-time dream.
He began boxing on the Central Coast in 2003 and fell in love with it straight away.
"It made me feel alive," he said.
"It's been a part of my life ever since."
Enjoying the training side of the sport as much as the fighting itself and with a great trainer behind him, he wondered if he could combine his love of boxing with the necessity of earning a living.
But it wasn't until he was involved in a car accident five years ago that he decided to pursue things further.
Working as a traffic emergency controller on the M1 in Sydney, he was rear-ended by a drunk-driver while attending to a vehicle that'd broken down.
"That was the point that changed things," he said.
"It made me realise where I wanted to be - which was back here in Forster - and what I wanted to do."
From there, Nielsen gained as much training experience as he could, before completing a certificate iv in fitness and a level one boxing coach course.
He moved back to Forster in October of last year with the sole intention of setting up a boxing gym.
I want to see them succeed and do good.Shane Nielsen
Fast-forward less than a year and he couldn't be happier with how things are progressing.
With people coming to him everyday for classes and a stable of fighters ready to make an impact on the boxing scene, he's right where he wants to be.
But his biggest goal is still ahead of him.
"The goal is to get as many kids as possible," he said.
"I want to help young people do the right thing and not go down the wrong path with drugs and alcohol.
"I think if you can get to them early enough you can make a big difference."
To find out more about Deliver Sportz, click here.
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