Paulo Aokuso vs Robert Berridge, who’s Paulo Aokuso, Tokyo Olympics, journey, Mount Druitt, coaching, life story, video, highlights, newest

Within the house of seven years, Paulo Aokuso has gone from a complete boxing novice to an Olympian.

After a glittering beginner profession which culminated in a visit to Tokyo final yr, Aokuso turned professional and made his debut in April the place he received the vacant Australasian gentle heavyweight title with a TKO victory over Michael Van Nimwegen.

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With Aokuso’s first title defence locked in in opposition to Robert Berridge on June 29 in Brisbane, the 25-year-old is hoping to proceed his rise all the way in which to the highest.

Not a foul journey for a child from Mount Druitt, particularly when, by his personal admission, he may’ve gone “the opposite means” in his youth.

“Rising up in Mount Druitt, I at all times see it as a superb neighborhood,” Aokuso informed

“Everybody helps one another, everybody’s supportive.

“A whole lot of different stuff goes on in Mount Druitt, however on the similar time, I wasn’t actually introduced round that. I may’ve went the opposite means, however as an alternative I selected to remain on the precise path and keep targeted on my sport and faculty.”

Aokuso is beneath no phantasm that to the common outsider, Mount Druitt has a “unfavourable” notion.


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However you’ll battle to seek out somebody as proud as he’s concerning the streets that steeled him into the heavy-handed gentle heavyweight he’s in the present day.

“Individuals suppose, ‘Oh, Mount Druitt, they do that and that,’” Aokuso stated.

“However for me, rising up and nonetheless being in Mount Druitt, I really like this place. Everybody grinds right here and no-one likes to lose. Everybody right here is for the neighborhood.”

Aokuso is one in all a number of outstanding sporting stars altering the picture of Mount Druitt and putting in much more delight into the residents about the place they arrive from.

He factors to a number of Panthers gamers like Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton as examples.

There’s additionally UFC heavyweight sensation Tai ‘Bam Bam’ Tuivasa in addition to rap group Onefour who’ve shot to fame.

For Aokuso, being part of this supposed new wave of stars to come back from the realm is one thing many would by no means have thought potential.

“For me to expertise this with different athletes from Mount Druitt and even be part of it, it’s large,” Aokuso stated.

“Who would have thought that from a small city, from a small metropolis, that we’d be getting plenty of well-known athletes.

“We’re principally the perfect within the sport. One of the best in rugby league, the perfect in UFC. I’m about to place it up in boxing.”

Aokuso received through TKO in his debut. Image: No Restrict BoxingSupply: Equipped

It’s relatively stunning then that as a child, Aokuso was “by no means into boxing.”

Enjoying rugby league and operating down the tunnel for an NRL group was “at all times the dream.”

However when the fireplace for rugby league died out in his late teenagers and left Aokuso not figuring out what to do with himself.

It was his outdated man Kigilau who gave his son a brand new lease of life by taking him to a boxing fitness center at age 17.

Initially, Kigilau didn’t suppose Paulo had it in him to be a “good boxer.”

It’s a totally completely different story now.

“He by no means actually thought I might be a superb boxer as a result of changing into a boxer is basically exhausting,” Aokuso stated.

“That you must not simply be bodily robust, however mentally robust as nicely. My dad didn’t actually see it in me, however as I saved coaching and obtained higher and higher, he began seeing the change in me and was like, ‘I feel boxing is for you.’”

It was after his son’s first combat that flicked the swap in Kigilau’s thoughts and led him to imagine his son may get pleasure from success between the ropes.

And from that second on, Aokuso by no means appeared again.

“My dad noticed I had it in me and from then on, we simply saved combating,” Aokuso stated.

Aokuso believes he can go all the way in which to the highest. Image: No Restrict BoxingSupply: Equipped

“Each second week, each third week. We had been combating the perfect of the perfect in Australia already in my first yr of boxing and I really feel that’s what made me progress quicker.”

As Aokuso continues to construct his boxing profession, there’s numerous motivating components pushing him to do another rep or another spherical in coaching periods when the fuel tank is operating empty.

Positive, the monetary advantages are there and never precisely hidden in plain sight.

So too is the glory and adoration from cheering followers who collect to observe him go to conflict when he steps between the ropes.

However it’s a relentless reminder from maybe the 2 most necessary individuals in his life that drives Aokuso past his recognized limits: his mother and father.

“They’ve at all times jogged my memory that we come from nothing,” Aokuso stated.

“For them to remind me each single day, it makes me work tougher. Seeing my mum and pop work a 9-5 job each single day, it motivates me to be a greater particular person and be a greater sportsman.

“Then later down the observe, I may also help them financially.”

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