Knock-out punch for Cassar

Jacob Cassar

Boxing devotee Jacob Cassar has etched another win to his record as he was awarded the Sunshine and Western Region Sports Club Don Deeble Sports Star Award.

Cassar was named the winner for the 2023 award, after being selected from the 10 monthly nominees. He received $5000 for winning the award.

Soccer star Alana Cortellino and basketball young-gun Jack Inella finished joint runners up and were awarded $2500 each.

Amid nine other incredible athletes Cassar said it was incredible to win the award, which has only provided him with more motivation to work hard.

“I couldn’t believe it, it was amazing, all these incredible athletes, it’s an honour,” he said.

“It makes me feel good, but it makes me want to train harder, and definitely improve.

“There are heaps of great athletes here and it was very eye opening for me to see how hard everyone trains. It goes to show the quality of athletes we have.”

Cassar is taking the boxing world by storm, currently, the 17-year-old has an untarnished record with 28 wins coming from his 28 bouts. His last fight was representing Australia in the USA at the RIP City Fall Classic, where he brought back a belt for his country.

As a featherweight he is ranked number one in Australia and the Commonwealth in his age group and 16th in the world.

In 2022 Cassar was selected as the best male boxer of the tournament in the under-19 Australian Championships. Cassar was selected in the 2019-2023 Victorian Futures team by state coach Marcos Amado and was subsequently selected into the Australian Institute of Sport under-19s and emerging squad by the current Australian coach, Jamie Pittman.

The Taylors Lakes resident is currently captain of the Victorian boxing team and spent time throughout last year at the Queensland Institute of Sport with the Australian team preparing for the 2024 Pacific Games as a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Unfortunately for Cassar, he was overlooked for the Australian Olympic team due to his young age.

Cassar said while he eventually wants to turn pro, his goal is firmly set on representing his country at the highest level first.

“I’d love to go to the Commonwealth Games and Olympics, that’s my dream,” he said.

“It would mean everything, that’s my dream, that’s the goal.

“Definitely after that I would love to go pro and hopefully become world champion.”

With boxing being a sport that is constantly requiring travel and much of it falls on the athlete’s dime, Cassar said the $5000 he received for the award will go a long way.

“Travelling, training expenses, it’ll definitely help so much, I’m so grateful,” he said.

“I struggle to get a fight in Victoria so I’m always travelling. I’m off next week to Canberra so it’ll help.

“There’s another tournament later next month, king of the ring, so [the money] will definitely help then.”

The Don Deeble Sports Star Award is sponsored by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, Strathmore Community Bank, the Deer Park Club, Ascot Vale Sports and Trophies and Star Weekly.

If you would like to nominate a monthly winner or attend a dinner, contact or 0408 556 631.