Quietly-spoken Owen is dynamite in the ring
OWEN Simpson is the quietly spoken schoolboy who just wants to be like his Pop.
Get him in the ring, though, and it's a different story.
The 14-year-old will have his first competitive bout as part of this Saturday's Ballina Island Amateur Boxing Club fight night.
Cabbage Tree Island-based Owen, who will fight in an Australian Schoolboy Championship interstate super-heavyweight title bout, is learning his craft but has already made a hard-hitting impression.
"They call me 'Tyson' here at the club, because I hit hard," he said.
Ballina High School student Owen started boxing about two years ago.
His grandfather, Percival Simpson, was a boxer and a mate of club head trainer Denis Magnay before passing away about 20 years ago.
"I never got to meet him, but I want to follow in his footsteps," Owen said.
"I just want to make my family proud."
The Year 9 student has had a handful of exhibition fights and said he was enjoying the sport.
"Sometimes I get nervous (before a fight)," he said. "I feel a bit weak and start shaking.
"Then I get out there and I think about my training and what I can bring on the day.
"You get rid of that anger (on your opponent), but then you shake hands at the end."
Southpaw Owen has already tested his skills against vastly experienced fighters.
"The oldest bloke I've sparred against was 47," he said.
"It was a bit scary, but I just tell myself, 'I can do this'."
Owen, who will take on Woodburn-Evans Head's Tyler White, said he had gained a lot from boxing.
"It's give me heaps of confidence," he said. "I can go out in front of people and do my stuff."
Magnay said his protege was a "lovely lad" who packed a punch.
"He's one of the most exciting prospects I've seen for many a year," Magnay said.
"As well as being strong and fit, he knows how to box.
"I would much rather see kids like him coming down here rather than hanging around the streets doing nothing.
"He loves coming down here and is a great kid."
What: Ballina Island Amateur Boxing Club fight night - about 20 fights at all divisions. Fighters from clubs across northern New South Wales featuring.
Where: Ballina's Cherry St Sports Club
When: This Saturday. Doors open at 6pm, boxing starts at 7pm.
Entry: Admission $20. First come, first served