Achieving on & off the sporting field

James Swan

James admits that the training load as a national athlete is strenuous and strongly believes that if you want something, hard work is the answer. And as James knows there are always sacrifices.

James simply says “Never, Never, Ever Give Up.”

James knows that the life of a sportsman doesn’t last forever, and when it is all over he looks forward spend time with his family and work hard at his job.

To relax James loves his food, and also catching a movie.

James Swan – South Australia (formerly Northern Territory)

Sporting Achievements

1992 54kg Australian Championships – Silver medal
1993 57kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1993 54kg Young England v Young Australia, England
1993 57kg 7th Mayor’s Cup, Philippines – Bronze medal
1994 57kg 16th President’s Cup, Indonesia
1994 57kg 17th Oceania Championships, Vanuatu – Gold medal
1994 57kg 7th World Cup, Thailand
1994 57kg XV Commonwealth Games, Victoria, BC, Canada – Bronze medal
1994 54kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1995 54kg 20th King’s Cup, Thailand – Silver medal
1995 54kg 8th World Championships, Germany
1995 54kg Multi-Nations Cup, Liverpool, England – Gold medal (Best boxer Trophy)
1995 54kg 17th President’s Cup, Indonesia – Bronze medal
1995 54kg Walikota Cup, Indonesia – Gold medal
1995 54kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1996 54kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1996 54kg 19th Oceania Championships, Australia – Gold medal
1996 54kg 3rd Multi-Nations Cup, Liverpool, England – Silver medal
1996 54kg 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta
1996 57kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1996 57kg 2nd Commonwealth Boxing Championships, South Africa
1997 57kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1997 57kg Arafura Games – Gold medal
1998 57kg Mayor’s Cup, Philippines
1998 60kg King’s Cup, Thailand
1998 57kg 21st Oceania Championships, NZ – Gold medal
1998 57kg 8th World Cup, China – Bronze medal
1998 57kg XVI Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur – Bronze medal
1999 60kg Arafura Games – Gold medal
1999 57kg 9th World Championships, Houston Texas
1999 57kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
1999 57kg Sydney International Invitation – Darling Harbour, Sydney – Gold medal
2000 57kg Australian Championships – Gold medal
2000 57kg 22nd Oceania Championships, AIS Canberra – Gold Medal
2000 57kg 19th Presidents Cup, Bali.

James Swan

Date Of Birth:
6 July 1974

Place of birth:
Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Home town:

Sport and position:
Boxing/Australian Champion

Bob Barber

Year 11

Work situation:
Youth Worker, Porter

Deadly Vibe Issue 61 March 2002

At just 27 years of age, James Swan is already a veteran of boxing. Winning his first Australian title in 1993, James competed at the 1994 and 1998 Commonwealth Games where he clinched bronze in the featherweight division. He also won bronze at the 1998 World Cup in China and represented his country at the Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney.

Shortly after the 2000 Olympics, James decided to turn pro, moving up to the lightweight division in the process. He did this because he felt it would be difficult to go on winning fights with the new computerised scoring system that amateur boxing had adopted.

“At one stage I was a good amateur boxer with the manual scoring, but now professional boxing suits my style of fighting,” he says. “In professional boxing you have to hit more to show the judges you’re winning the fight.”

Currently Australia’s lightweight champion, James will defend his title this month against his roommate from the 2000 Olympics, Michael Katsidis. So far James has two wins, two draws and three losses to his name in the professional arena.

Training for James involves everything from running and punching the bag to sparring and weight training. “I usually start training full-on about a month before a fight, and I try to steer clear of alcohol at all times,” he says.

Born in Alice Springs, James started boxing when he was 10 years old as a way of defending himself against bullies. Now a bit over 60kg and standing just 160cm tall, his stature doesn’t do justice to his incredible strength – this is a man who can bench press twice his own weight.

“Now when I see those people who used to pick on me as a kid, they can’t even look me in the eye because they know who I’ve become,” he laughs.

Motivation for James came from long-time hero Lionel Rose. “I was at a dinner one night at Kumantjayi Perkins’ house in Sydney when Lionel put his arm around me and said, ‘James, you’re gonna be the next world champion.’ That meant a lot to me because Lionel is my hero. I’ve always tried to copy his style of fighting.”

James is now based in Adelaide, where he is a youth worker. This enables him to inspire young people with his own life story of self-discipline and determination. His motto is very simple: “Never, never, ever give up.”

“I’m happy to have made the switch to professional,” he says. “Whereas in amateur boxing you have to answer to sporting officials, now I only have to answer to myself.”

(Story 1/3/2002 end)


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