Fresh from his third consecutive victory, one that keeps his undefeated professional record intact, Orange's Jack Littlefield says he'll be switching up his training to put a heavier focus on conditioning as he looks to, eventually, contend for state and national titles.
The 21-year-old, who celebrated the milestone birthday on Tuesday, scored a unanimous, four-round win over Sydney's Haider Helfy on the weekend, but now he'll chase six and then eight-round fights over the course of the year to try and gain eligibility for a state title shot.
The first of those is expected to come in the next couple of months, with Littlefield slated to fight Gareth Laurence on April 13 in the first six-round bout of his career, although that is subject to change.
"It'll be my first six-round fight and then by the end of the year we're hoping to fight over eight, which would make me eligible for a state title," he said, with a continued climb up the national rankings also a goal.
"That'll mean tougher training now because it is hard when you add the extra rounds. It's all up to [father-trainer Dave Littlefield] how we do that and he'll have me ready, but it'll mean a lot of running and usual and some tougher, longer sparring sessions.
"My style won't change though, I'll still look to wear my opponents down and come over the top in those later rounds which has a lot to do with fitness obviously."
Littlefield said that's exactly what he did over Helfy, who he labelled somewhat of an "amateur superstar", at Sydney's Norths Leagues Club last weekend, winning the final three rounds after dropping the first.
"It was a close and hard fight but I probably did lose that first round," Littlefield admitted, in the end two judges scored him a one-point victory and the other called a three-point margin.
"But I felt like he was gassing out a bit over the last three rounds and I felt like I controlled those and won all three of them."
By the end of the year we're hoping to fight over eight (rounds), which would make me eligible for a state title.Jack Littlefield
Dave Littlefield echoed that sentiment, saying his young charge took a little time to find his rhythm but once he did, he once again impressed.
"A minute or so into the second round Jack started getting his timing right and found some rhythm, he dug deep," Dave Littlefield explained.
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He went on to explain Littlefield's long and fruitful amateur career has served him well so far in the professional ranks, the 21-year-old's battle-hardened nature a big bonus.
"He always tested himself against the best in the country and that's really helping him now," he said.
"Jack still has plenty to learn and a lot of improvement in him and we want him to continue enjoying the journey, what we're most proud of I think is his mental strength and self-belief."
Littlefield's victory completely spoiled Helfy's party too.
The latter was making his professional debut in front of a home crowd desperately hoping he'd secure a win.
"There was a lot of support for him there and they thought he was going to win on debut. I'm sure he was a bit sad about it, but you can't feel for him too much, that's the game we're in," Littlefield, ranked 30th in Australia, said with a smile.
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