Last Friday night, 7 July, Makayla Armstrong from The Valley Boxing Gym became the Junior Australian Champion for her weight category, defeating her South Australian opponent at the Dom Polski Centre in Adelaide. 

Makayla won by TKO 30 seconds into the third round, with the fight consisting of three two-minute rounds. 


15-year-old Armstrong lives and goes to school in Canberra but travels out to Yass to train at The Valley Boxing Gym with coach and owner Aaron Reid. 

Makayla and Aaron have been training together since October 2021, with the young fighter coming along in leaps and bounds since creating the partnership. 


Reid spoke to The Times about Makayla’s preparation leading into the fight and her great result from Friday night. 

“Makayla’s prep was really good. Her prep was a little bit disrupted due to it being her birthday month, so she had to manoeuver around birthday parties and change times with camp,” Reid said. 

“Makayla’s went to the Nationals of the Australian titles last year with four fights under her belt and this year went in with 20 under her belt. We’ve been all over the country preparing for this moment to better her silver medal from last year.

“Her fight previous to Friday’s was against an 18-year-old when Makayla was a 14-year-old, so she was taking on opponents older and heavier.

“Makayla turned up ready to fight on Friday. I could tell 20 minutes out from the fight with the smile on her face that she was ready. The night before the fight she said, “I’m ready, I want it to be tonight”.

“Makayla dominated the fight from the get-go. She had great patience, we went in with a game plan and she executed the game plan perfectly. We’d not seen the SA girl before, so I said to counter-box her until you hear the call, and when you hear the call, you put the pressure on. 

“When the other girl rushed her, Makayla used her range very nicely. When we knew we had her measure, I told Makayla to put the gas burner on and she completely dominated her. 

“With these tournaments and five judging systems you don’t know how they’re going to score rounds. One of the NSW judges even on a big, dominant second round like Makayla had,  gave the second round to the South Australian.

“You can’t sometimes leave it to the judge’s hands, you’ve got to take it away from them and Makayla did that. 

“I’m stoked for Makayla. She came over to my gym with a friend almost two years ago saying her goal was to become the Australian champion and go to the Olympics for Australia, and within the two years of her being here we’ve hit the first milestone. 

“That just speaks about the level of determination that she has.”

Makayla’s mum, Sam Lily, couldn’t be in Adelaide for the fight on Friday but was very proud of her daughter regardless. 

“I’m extremely proud as a mum. Makayla has worked very hard to get to where she is and she never stops training and working towards her goals,” Lily said. 

“Makayla has been fighting for three years now. She’s had 22 fights now and been to National’s before, last time getting silver and this time getting gold. 

“She has put in a lot of time and effort to reach this level. Makayla and her coach Aaron go in with a game plan and whenever he says she needs to put on or lose weight for a certain fight, she does everything that he says and sticks to it and the work pays off. 


“I got the video of the fight sent to me straightaway after Makayla had won and she always calls me as soon as she finishes her fights. Her dad trains Makayla too out of his garage, so you could tell all the extra work she’s been putting in came out in the fight. 

“Makayla’s next goal is to go to the Olympics, that’s what she has her heart set on.”


Congratulations Makayla on your outstanding achievement, we hope you reach your goals. 


Tim Warren