The name Mercuri has been synonymous with boxing for decades.
And the next generation is to determine to uphold that reputation.
Leppington trainer Tommy Mercuri has been played a hand in developing some of Australia’s most talented boxers including Lenny Zappavigna.
His son, Tommy Mercuri Junior, is determined to make a name for himself as a fighter. And with his dad in his corner, the teenager is confident he will fulfill his dreams and his potential.
At the recent Australian Championships in Melbourne, Mercuri Junior was slated to compete in the under 16s division. But a lack of competitors saw him jump up to the under 18s division – and dominate.
“There was a bit of fear jumping up with the men, but with Dad in my corner, I knew I would be fine,” the 16-year-old said.
“I had to fight a Tasmanian and a Queenslander who both had double the experience I did, and I beat them unanimously.
“The Tasmanian was rougher, very strong and a bit of a brawler. The Queenslander was a good all-rounder – smart and strong.”
A re-match between Mercuri Junior and his opponent north of the border is expected in March.
After that fight, the teenager said the plan was to get as many bouts under his belt before his 18th birthday. After that it was time to turn professional.
Mercuri Junior said turning professional had been a “dream of mine” for a long time. But it was a journey he looked forward to sharing.
“I want to turn professional and rise up the ranks with dad by my side,” he said.
Entering the world of boxing with the last name Mercuri means there was an element of expectation that automatically fell on the shoulders of the teenager.
But Mercuri Junior said the pressure didn’t phase him and he was happy to soak up the knowledge and tips passed onto him by his father.
“Me and Dad are fine together. The only time we fight is when we talk about who is going to win fights we are watching,” he said.