Mandurah boxer Karlee Hayes scores State regional belt

DEDICATION: Hayes spends three-to-four days a week training at the gym. Photo: Supplied.
DEDICATION: Hayes spends three-to-four days a week training at the gym. Photo: Supplied.

Karlee Hayes started boxing in 2017 as a unique and fun way to get fit; flashforward to 2021 - Hayes trains three or four times a week and has just won the State regional belt in Geraldton.

"At first it was just for fitness - I wanted to try and get fit again," Hayes said.

"I've always liked boxing and used to watch a bit of it with my dad - it just sort of progressed from there."

After boxing for a few years, Hayes joined the team at Fighter Fit Boxing Gym in Mandurah, where she kicked up her training to a new level.

"I've been with Danny (Heyes) and Fighter Fit Gym for just over a year.

"My first fight with them I was nervous - you get nervous and hope that you can do what you do in training and that hopefully it all comes together."

You get out what you put in...

Karlee Hayes

Hayes said she had been working towards the masters event which was supposed to take place in September which was moved to April due to COVID.

"That's a goal I have been working towards.

"I was really happy with my performance in the Masters test event in September - that was one of my better performances to date."

The training schedule in preparation for events is intensive, but Hayes said no matter her mood she will head down to the gym.

"You get out what you put in really - I train generally when I'm not working three or four times a week.

"It's hard - there's days when you don't want to do it but you just show up and go through the motions and it gets easier as you keep going."

The regional event in Geraldton was a highlight for Hayes, who attended with four other members of her gym.

"Geraldton was a great experience - we had five of us competing so that was a nice little team.

"We all drove up and stayed in houses together and it was good - it's something you normally wouldn't do I think, it's a very close-knit gym and we are all there to support each other, that's what makes it really nice.

"You think boxing is an individual sport - and it is when you're in the ring, but it's really nice hearing voices that you recognise in the crowd."

TEAM SPIRIT: Amanda Stevenson, Karlee Hayes and Kelly Heyes. Photo: Supplied.

TEAM SPIRIT: Amanda Stevenson, Karlee Hayes and Kelly Heyes. Photo: Supplied.

Coach Danny Heyes said Hayes's performance in the ring was stellar and that the belt win was well-deserved.

"Karlee boxed beautifully using her range controlling the ring," Heyes said.

"With every round Karlee's confidence grew, she has impeccable ring fitness allowing her to increase her work rate every round."

When Hayes isn't in the ring, she spends time with her three dogs, a German short-haired pointer and two fox terrier crosses and said she was looking forward to being able to travel again in the future.

"I like walking my dogs and spending time with my friends and family.

"With COVID the last few years I haven't travelled anywhere, but I like going places."

Now, Hayes will focus her time preparing for the Australian Masters Games event set to take place at the Perth Town Hall from April 20-23 in 2022.