Wollongong amateur boxer Michael Aaty has put in the hard work.
Now it is time for him to reap the rewards.
Aaty is a NSW team member in the 56kg division and leaves on Saturday to compete in the national titles in Adelaide next week, returning to the Illawarra the following Sunday.
He qualified for the nationals by winning the NSW 56kg gold medal at the state titles hosted by the Illawarra Amateur Boxing Association at the URAC Sports Hub, University of Wollongong, last October.
"We've had more time for practice, fitness, body condition. We've worked pretty hard," Aaty said yesterday.
"From each state there are two fighters - usually A and B boxers - so maybe I'll be having three or four fights in one week.
"Only one guy makes it to the gold medal.
"I'm very focused.
"This is my second time going to the national titles.
"Last year was the Olympic trials and this year the nationals.
"So it is a very good opportunity.
"I really want to see how I go."
Aaty is aiming to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games next year.
"If I make it I will be travelling overseas for more experience with the Australian team," he said.
"I know I've got a lot of work to do.
"It's a business. You go there. You get in the ring with a fighter. You start working on things.
"If you want to win and make everything successful, you've got to play.
"You work hard for it. You get the result.
"Nobody likes to lose. So I'll go there and try my best."
Aaty's trainer Jimmy Clabour is confident his boxer can do well at nationals.
"Michael has been preparing for the championships for the past two months," Clabour said.
"He's doing well, doing all the right things."