VINTON Street Gym (VSG) boxers, past and present, will reunite for one of the largest showcases of the sport to be seen in Bendigo.
Nearly 30 athletes will step into the ring on March 3 at Bendigo racecourse for ‘The Art of Pugilism and Aussie Rock’, a show which will combine exhibition boxing and live music.
They will range from former Australian heavyweight champion Justin Whitehead and the California Gully gym’s current professionals Matt Hall, Brad Morgan, Dino Rafaeles and Justin Coulthard, to a long line-up of current and returning amateurs and part-timers.
Music will be provided by Bendigo rock band Unnroolee and singer Marie Antoinette Hicks.
VSG’ Promotions’ Gary Connolly said the show would part serve as a farewell to popular gym representative Whitehead, who officially retired last year following an extensive amateur and professional career, which netted a Commonwealth Games bronze medal and Australian and Asia-Pacific titles.
“It is most likely the last time we will see Whitey doing any sort of boxing,” he said.
“Essentially it’s a family day and probably the first time anyone has put an event on like this, which is alcohol and smoke free.
“It’s more about people just coming along to enjoy themselves – the price is ridiculously cheap at $25 and $35 ringside.
“Any profits we make will go to charity.”
Among those stepping into the ring for exhibition bouts are Bendigo Jockey Club curator Bernard Hopkins, cyclist Peter Michael Ladd and former Thai fighter Steve Khanthiyong, who only recently returned to the VSG after a more than 10-year absence.
Brad Morgan, who will be matched against fellow professional Dino Rafaeles in one of the day’s feature exhibitions, said he was looking forward to displaying the skills that won him a WBF Australasian championship in his last bout in March last year.
“It’s been a while since I’ve fought, with a young family to take care of and work, but hopefully this year opens up more opportunities,” said Morgan, who has won all six of his pro-bouts, including five by knock-out.
“It’s going to be a big occasion for VSG.
“I have a lot of respect for our gym – I’ve been there for nearly seven years now and I am always there to help out.
“I try to train four nights a week and sometimes five leading up to events like this.”
‘The Art of Pugilism and Aussie Rock’ is a strictly alcohol and smoke free event and will run from 1pm-5pm.
For tickets visit The Capital box office, GoTix.com.au, or phone 5434 6100.
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