Dan Nichols speaks to Commonwealth silver medalist and undefeated boxer Jason Whatelely re his new fight deal, representing his country at the Olympics in Rio, Paul Gallen and much more.
With this past Sunday afternoon’s (DST) Heavyweight blockbuster which saw Tyson Fury defeat Deontay Wilder, boxing was finally in the Australian sporting headlines again.
The sweet science is often overlooked amongst a smorgasbord of local team sports such as Rugby League, AFL, football and the like.
Although, before a well deserved, increasing spotlight, Australian boxing fans are enjoying the rise of our next crop of stars.
One such upcoming star is a boxer you’ve no doubt seen and will soon know very well; undefeated Australian Cruiserweight Champion Jason “The Warrior” Whateley.
Fresh off signing a Promotional Contract with Tasman Fighters, the prospect spoke with Fan Babble’s own Dan Nichols.
Speaking on his new deal, Whateley said: “I was thrilled to sign with Tasmans, they are a very professional team with some great talent on the books, so I’m happy to be apart of that.”
“The signing with them will get me some great opportunities and some good fights which is what I’m after to take that next step in my career. “
A decorated amateur, the 30 year-old won Gold in the 2011 Arafura Games in Darwin, a Commonwealth Silver medal in 2018 on the Gold Coast and also represented Australia in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
When asked about his experience on the biggest stage “The Warrior” responded “Boxing at Rio and representing Australia at the Olympic Games was a dream come true and something I still find hard to believe I actually achieved. Although I wasn’t happy with my performance there, it taught me so much and it was experience that you can’t buy. “
“I’m extremely proud to have represented Australia either way. I do believe fighting on that world stage in the Amateurs has definitely given the experience I need to do the same as a professional.” added Whateley.
The introduction of streaming meant that this year’s Olympics Games allowed for spectators to watch events, otherwise not broadcast, in their entirety. Like many others I spent time following our young charges in the boxing ring.
So to did Whateley.
“I think the team all boxed good at the Olympics this year. Especially my very good friend Harry Garside. The work ethic and dedication that bloke has is second to none, I’ve never seen anyone work harder.”
“So it was great to see him do so well and bring home our first medal in over 30 years. But overall I think they all performed well. It’s a very tough competition.”
Of course Australia’s biggest star heading into the Olympic campaign was reigning Australian Heavyweight Champion Justis Huni.
Whateley would have become known to most Australian boxing fans via his fight on the undercard of the Huni/Gallen showdown. He stopped former member of the Contender cast Victor Oganov in the fourth round in impressive fashion.
Speaking of his experience on such a huge stage Whateley added: “That was a great opportunity for me to get on such a big platform and come away with the win. We had a lot of trouble getting opponents for that fight and had a few pull out etc so I was grateful to eventually land an opponent and box on that stage with a stacked card.”
Whateley was quick to praise the headliner.
“I really rate Justis. I travelled with him in the amateurs and sparred him when he was younger. He’s hand speed and agility for a bigger man is world class. I’m a big fan and I hope that he can go all the way.”
On the unfortunate circumstances which denied Huni his Olympic dream: “I was absolutely shattered for him that he was unable to compete at the Tokyo games. I think he would have been a huge chance of taking it out, if not going very close.”
Having sparred with both sides of the monster Main Event, the Hawthorn fan was well placed to speak about the Premiership winner.
“Paul is the real deal, his work rate for a bigger bloke is very good. He comes to fight, he’s as tough as nails and has a great team around him that have taught him good boxing skills also.”
At just 30 year’s of age “The Warrior” is entering his prime. Although undefeated across his opening nine professional bouts including his Cruiserweight Title win, Whateley is far from done.
“I’d love to fight outside of Australia, that’s definitely the goal, to get on the world stage. I can’t control the current covid situation, all I can do is perform and win when I do fight here and hope that the rest falls in to place for me.”
In terms of his immediate future, you can catch Whateley fighting in Melbourne before the end of the year.
“My next fight I will be boxing in Melbourne on the Kings of Kombat show on December 11th. I’m really looking forward to that and hoping a win there will open a few doors to some big fights next year.”