THERE are a variety of factors that go into consideration when building a fighter from scratch.
Among the considerations include a knowledgeable pairing of trainer and manager, a dedicated pupil, as well as an experienced promoter that will invest in their fighter’s progress.
While success is never guaranteed, all of these boxes have been ticked for former Olympian and unbeaten professional, Jason Whateley.
With his maiden attempt at an Australian title fast approaching, the ability to stay grounded and to continue working hard has never been more important, according to Whateley’s manager, Matt Clark.
“I’ve learned over time that talent will only take you so far,” he told Aus-Boxing.
“If a boxer isn’t totally committed to the sport, they’re really doing themselves a disservice by not fulfilling their true potential. Jason lives for the game and he’s always in the gym.
“Jason and his trainer Marcos travel a great distance a number of times a week to make sure that he’s improving and being the best he can be.
“I can’t speak highly enough about either of them. They’re consummate professionals in every sense of the word.”
The role of Clark, best known for guiding Lucas Browne to a version of the heavyweight title, is made somewhat easier given the open-minded approach from Whateley (6-0, 5 KOs), who faces reigning titleholder Daniel Russell (7-1-2, 4 KOs) on December 14th at The Timber Yard.
As Clark concedes, there are clear challenges that come with fighting a quality domestic operator just over twelve months into his punch-for-pay career.
“Jason would fight whoever is put in front of him, so from one perspective that makes things easy,” he continued.
“The job Marcos and I share is making sure those fights are at the right time to allow him to progress as a professional boxer.
“This will be his seventh professional fight and his first scheduled for ten rounds. It’ll be his toughest test to date by a long way, and he’s preparing accordingly.”
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The likeable 29-year-old has thrived in 2019, winning all four of his contested bouts inside the distance, including an important win over hard-nosed veteran, Victor Oganov in June.
As Whateley’s fledgling career continues to develop, fights and moments, like the one his fighter experienced in the second round of that fight, prove invaluable for future learning.
“I think he’s developing really well as a professional so far,” Clark explained.
“Having such a strong amateur background certainly helps. It means you have excellent fundamentals and you’re used to competing in big events.
“In just his fifth fight he fought Victor Oganov, who not many want to face due to his heavy hands.
“What I liked about that fight is that Jason had to overcome a touch of adversity. He got caught with a good shot and had to fight back.
“That thirty second period showed me more than plenty of other prospects’ wins against limited competition.”
The stakes have been raised in recent weeks, with the fight being elevated to an official eliminator for the Commonwealth cruiserweight title.
Clark was quick to praise the work of event promoter Will Tomlinson, who has grown in stature with his WILDFIGHTER brand, mirroring the rise of Whateley.
“Will has done a great job getting Jason exposure in the mainstream media and helping to progress his career,” he added.
“We work on a fight-by-fight agreement and we appreciate the effort he goes to.
“The Commonwealth title is a goal for our team and Will is completely onboard with that.”