Preparing to make the walk to the boxing ring for just the second time as a professional, Ty Narkle (1-0, 1 KO) is beaming with confidence and pride.
Following a third round TKO over Amit Thapa (0-3) in his May debut, the fighter nicknamed ‘Sparkle’ will return to action on Friday night at Dragon Fire Boxing’s Thunderdome 36 event in Perth.
This time, the stakes are raised as the Western Australian State Featherweight title will be on the line in a six round bout with Richard Lockett (3-1, 2 KOs).
Far from being overawed by the occasion, Narkle is entering the fight full of faith in his preparation.
“I think I’m ready and I’ve had good preparation leading up to it,” he told The Inner Sanctum.
“A lot of sparring and a lot of good work. I feel like I’m ready, fit enough and ready to go.
“My power’s increased and I’ve done more strength and conditioning training. I’ve been sparring and I feel like my power’s definitely stronger.”
More than just increasing the physical training load, he has been very reflective upon his professional debut.
With every jab thrown and step taken, a learning moment emerged and lessons from fighting have been taken in stride.
“Little things that I saw wrong in that, I’ve improved,” Narkle said.
“I feel more confident now and I feel like I’ll impress. This next one will be a step up, but I’ll shock a lot of people because I’ll be way better than what I was before.”
In fact, constantly learning and evolving have become an everyday part of his boxing life.
One element of Narkle’s style that stands out in fights is his ability to almost effortlessly change from the orthodox to southpaw stance.
Though he has been switch hitting since he began fighting as an amateur over a decade ago, he continues to hone a craft that few boxers truly master.
Watching film of some of the all-time greats has become central to this.
“I’ve always been doing it since I was an amateur,” Narkle explained.
“I had about 50-odd fights as an amateur and I’ve always done it. A lot of people found it tricky, because I’ll be changing.
“I’ve got good strength in both hands, I guess. I feel like when I go southpaw, I’ve got a good left hand.
“I’ve hurt people with the left hand and then when I go orthodox, I’ve got a good right hand.
“I feel pretty comfortable on both sides. Sometimes if I’m having a hard time in orthodox with someone, I change to southpaw and feel like I can fight them better or spar them better.
“Over time, I’ve watched a lot of ‘Prince’ Naseem [Hamed] and a lot of boxers that change. Terence Crawford, I like his style. He’s a southpaw, but you see him switch it up sometimes.
“I thought ‘that looks cool, I’m going to give it a shot’ and I just started adding it in. It’s like an advantage in a way.”
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All of this would suggest that boxing comes easy to Narkle, but like most fighters his career has not been without it’s share of complications.
An eye injury, as well as a loss to 2020 Olympic bronze medallist Harry Garside in the 2018 Commonwealth Games qualifying bout are just some of the setbacks that he has faced.
Rather than dwelling on past challenges however, the 27-year-old has used them as fuel for future goals.
“I feel like I had a lot of setbacks in the amateurs and a lot of upsets, stuff always getting in my way,” he said.
“I couldn’t step out and get my name out there like I wanted to.
“I’ll go well in the pros. I’m determined to do better in the pros than what I did in the amateurs.”
Outside of the sport, the proud Noongar man attempts to inspire fellow young Indigenous people by sharing his athletic story.
As a mentor with the Wirrpanda Foundation, he works with kids in the criminal justice system who are at risk of re-offending.
If not for boxing, or more importantly an avenue to channel his energy, Narkle may have found himself in similar surrounds.
“I do a lot of talking with the young Indigenous kids at prisons. I just show them that I could have chose that path with the wrong group, but I chose to stick it out with boxing,” he candidly told.
“It’s just showing them that if I can do it then anyone can do it. How I grew up, I could’ve chose two paths.
“I feel that boxing sort of saved me in a way. I try to inspire them and show them that you can do whatever you put your mind to.”
To this end, winning a State title belt will be validation for years of hard work, as well as proof to others in the community that achievements are born from a positive mindset.
For Narkle, a triumphant performance will also be the breeding ground for further career goals. The gateway to boxing stardom.
“I want that win, I’ve been training hard and I believe in myself,” he claimed.
“It’s one of my biggest fights and I want to get that belt. If I get that win, it’ll be a massive thing for me because my windows open and people start to recognise who I am, I guess.
“They’ll be like ‘ooh, who is this guy?’ and I get my name out there.”
For now, his focus remains on the present and the challenge coming his way in the form of Lockett. Not one to overlook his opponent, Narkle has both eyes firmly fixed on the task at hand.
“I want to outbox him and just give him a boxing lesson. Hit and not be hit,” he concluded.
“I believe I’ve got enough power where if I do catch him with a good shot I can stop him. If I do feel like he’s hurt, I’ll just jump on it.
“I plan on going out there trying not to look for the knockout, but just boxing and out-boxing him, not getting hit.
“That’s what I can see.”
Dragon Fire Boxing’s Thunderdome 36 goes down on Friday, October 1 and is available via pay-per view on Fite TV, here.
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