Auckland boxer Troy Garton is hitting harder and faster than ever as she works hard to gain a quota spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 31-year-old won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and that taste of elite competition has her dead set on making the Olympics.

In her quest to do so, Garton’s shed 3-kilograms, to drop from the women’s 60kg division, to the 57kg category.

“My coach and I were like 'let’s see what happens if we strip some of that weight off but keep your power – it’s only 3kgs so let’s give it a go,” said Garton.

And the experiment seems to have worked, with Garton packing a solid punch to win the division at the 2019 New Zealand Nationals.

“I felt good and I felt strong. My punches felt faster because I was carrying less weight.

“Now that I’ve got a taste of the 57kg division I want to stay there, even if I have to sacrifice my food!”

The next big test for Garton is the Asia Pacific Tournament in February.

The tournament is an Olympic qualifier and Garton says she’s confident but not cocky.

“It’s a big goal to make Tokyo 2020. It’s going to be hard but I love a good challenge, the more the odds are against me the harder I work, I plan to be there.”

As well as punching faster Garton has also been working on her mental game.

“My understanding of the ring and what you need to do and the chess match that’s played in there has really improved. That’s come with the added experience of international tournaments.

“I understand how I fight and what I need to do against certain styles. I definitely feel that I’m a much better boxer than I was at Commonwealth Games and I need to be, Olympics is another level.”

In the meanwhile Garton’s enjoying the ride and taking the road to Tokyo one day at a time.

“I love the mental discipline the sport puts on me. There’s always something to learn with boxing.”

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