Jayden Heyward has his sights set on competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games after winning the NSW state 75-kilogram division elite boxing title.
Heyward’s success in the competition means he has been selected to compete at the national titles in November.
The nationals will be a Commonwealth Games selection trial, giving Heyward the opportunity to represent Australia on the Gold Coast in April.
The 20-year-old also won the Australian novice title in amateur boxing earlier this year, defeating the existing champion in the 69kg division in his first major competition.
Heyward started to pursue boxing success at the age of 13 in unusual fashion.
“I was hanging around with the wrong crowd and I wanted to get out. Dad told me I should learn to fight,” he said.
“The Tokyo Olympics in 2020, that’s the big goal.”
Heyward hasn’t looked back since then, dedicating himself to the sport and making several sacrifices along the way.
The young boxer spars at gyms in Earlwood and Carss Park with his trainer, Terry Lewis, as well as running sand dunes at Cronulla to improve his fitness.
Working as a third-year apprentice carpenter by day, Heyward sacrifices going out at night with his friends to train five to six days per week after work to chase his dream.