Jessica Messina heads to Melbourne for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification bouts

Stepping stones: Jess Messina will head to Melbourne this week aiming to take another step towards Tokyo 2020 selection.
Stepping stones: Jess Messina will head to Melbourne this week aiming to take another step towards Tokyo 2020 selection.

VICTORY in two bouts in Melbourne this weekend will ensure Jess Messina is one step closer to Olympic Games selection.

Coach Dean Groth is confident the Port Macquarie product is in the best shape despite her disappointing result at the AIBA women's world boxing championships in October.

Messina was unseeded at the competition which ensured a trickier path which Groth said was "wrong".

"There's nothing more she could have done except knock her out," Groth said. "It was the best I've seen her fight, but it still wasn't enough.

"She landed every one of her punches in the last round, but the judges still didn't give her the points. It was very bizarre.

"That's boxing ... it's the luck of the draw."

But standing between her and any further progression will be long-term opponent Kaye Scott.

Groth said they had been planning their path to the qualification bouts this year and he was confident Messina's top eight position in Asia would be enough to see her progress.

The winners from here will head to China in February next year for the Asia/Oceania qualifiers.

"They'll only have two fights this weekend," he said.

"She'll be up against Kaye if she gets to the final; win that and she'll head to China. Get to the semi-finals there and you're off to the Olympics."

Should Messina not get the right result in either Melbourne or China, there will be a repechage round in Paris in May.

This story Messina heads to Melbourne as Tokyo 2020 looms large first appeared on Port Macquarie News.