Townsville boxing is set to kick it up a notch. Some of Townsville’s rising boxers will tonight fight in front of a man who is just one punch away from becoming a world champion.
The Upper Ross Hawks are holding their ‘Rumble in the Nest” fight night at Brothers Leagues Club, and guest of honour will be Hawks junior and WBA world cruiserweight title contender Mark Flanagan.
Flanagan, known affectionately as ‘Bam Bam’ in boxing circles, will fight Russia’s Denis Lebedev in Moscow on July 10 for the prestigious belt, which Lebedev has held since 2012.
Rising from humble origins in Rasmussen to become one of Australia’s most exciting boxing talents, Flanagan is on the verge of fulfilling one of Townsville’s most inspiring sporting journeys.
He returns to Townsville today and will remain over the weekend to train under Hawks coach Dennis Clancy, Flanagan’s long-time coach and life mentor.
Clancy has no doubts there are many more Mark Flanagan’s waiting to be discovered, and the next big thing could have his chance to shine tonight.
“I’m sure a lot of the younger fighters will be thrilled that he’s going to be watching over them,” Clancy said.
“It’s Mark’s old stomping ground and this is always going to be his home.
“He really is North Queensland’s version of Rocky, and what he’s done is so inspirational for other young fighters.
“He started with an old trainer at the Upper Ross Hawks and now he’s fighting for a world title in Moscow, it’s unbelievable.”
Boxers hoping to catch Flanagan’s eye will be more than 20 local fighters taking part in about 12 bouts starting from 7pm.
“It should be a top night of local amateur boxing,” Clancy said.
Townsville boxing is starting to get really good at that.
— MICHAEL THOMPSON, TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN