It takes a village to raise a professional boxer – or two.
Ask Anouske and Johann Truter whose lives revolve around their two older boys – Tristan and Cayden – and they’ll tell you about their challenges. They have to balance two sessions a day with trainer Harold Volbrecht plus a session in the gym, as well as their online car sales business… and two younger kids.
It’s a fine balancing act which has seen Johann and Anouske completely immerse themselves in the world of South African boxing. Johann left his job as a chef to establish their car sales business from home while Anouske trained as a massage therapist to help with boys’ recovery. Johann also works as a trainer in Volbrecht’s Hammer Gym in Boksburg.
“We are a team inside and outside of the ring,” says 20-year-old Tristan. “Without my mom, my dad and my brother I couldn’t do this. My dad wakes up with me every morning, he comes to every training session, works with me and draws up programs for me.
“And having my brother doing the same thing as me makes it so much easier, it makes the load lighter. I push him and he pushes me.”
Cayden (18) turned professional earlier this year and is unbeaten in three fights while Tristan turned professional during Grade 11 three years ago and has eight wins out of nine to his name.
The brothers spend almost all of their time together either training or working out or watching movies. Tristan tried a few different sports but found a home inside the ropes, and Cayden followed a couple of years later.
“I didn’t immediately know that boxing was the sport for me. I was about 14 when I realised what I wanted to do,” he says. “I tried athletics, rugby, soccer, tennis… you name it but it didn’t compare to boxing. I grew to love it.”
It wasn’t an immediate fit to Tristan, his dad Johann admits. Johann would wake up in the early hours of the morning to watch fights which usually happened in Las Vegas. The boys would sometimes join him but were reluctant to get into the ring.
“They were broken boys,” Johann says, referring to early upheaval in their lives. “They had problems with aggression, getting into fights and I thought it would be a good way for them to channel their anger.
“I remember Tristan used to hate boxing when we started and I used to bribe him (with chocolate). He just started getting better. He was really good at rugby, cricket… everything… he’s just a good sportsman.”
Tristan is on the cusp of a potentially big breakthrough in South African boxing after he was included in Golden Gloves’ 4@War event which is set to take place at Emperors Palace on November 30. He’s been drawn to fight former UFC sensation Boyd Allen but Johann thinks Tristan can go all the way.
“I think he’s got a very good chance of winning this whole event,” he says. “I think they’re underestimating him. He’s grown exceptionally fast in the last year, year-and-a-half.”
Tristan will have Volbrecht and Johann working in his corner while Cayden and Anouske will be there to cheer him on as well – a family effort – as usual.
(Accredited By SuperSport)