BOXING coach Danny Cheetham promises just as many belly laughs as body blows at a Moree fundraising gala on Saturday that will see emerging greenhorns from local rugby league and rugby union clubs defend their codes.
Cheetham has matched – and trained – five players from the Moree Boars against their Webollabolla Bulls counterparts for a series of spectacular showdowns over three short, sharp rounds.
Also featuring two NSW title fights, the event – billed as the Boars versus Bulls Fight Night – is again expected to pack Moree Memorial Hall.
“I’ve had the idea in the back of my head for a long time, so league club president Todd Mitchell and myself decided to give it a go and make it happen,” Cheetham said.
Cheetham, a former Golden Gloves champion who with assistant coach Colin Rice has revitalised boxing in Moree in recent years, says the league-versus-union concept was the perfect platform to promote not only boxing, but both football codes as well.
“It won’t just be a night of boxing and fun; it will also be an opportunity to raise funds for the local league and union clubs as well as the boxing academy,” he said.
“And there are a couple of good boxers in the mix, too. Beau McMahon, for the league side, shows plenty and so does his opponent Rua Noble.
“Both have indicated that they want to continue boxing after the fight-night,” he said.
Joining McMahon for the Boars are Marty and Sam O’Neill, Brad Hourigan and Madison Smith while in Noble’s corner for the Bulls are his brothers Dane and Alex, Rodney Keam and Gary Prince.
While league and union battle out their matters of honour, two NSW titles will also be on the line.
Moree’s Brett Wright fights Ethan Wilson from Evans Head in the 81kg light-heavyweight division while local hope Brent McDonald takes on Joe Williams from Dorrigo for the NSW welterweight title.
“Both boys have been training the house down and I’m hoping that a big home crowd can lift them over the line,” Cheetham said.
Cheetham, who nurtured, trained and delivered elite athlete Cameron Hammond all the way to the London Olympics, recently returned from Murwillumbah with tyros Curtley Hammond and Ashley and James Duncan - and all three did their coach and Moree proud.
“Curtley made a very, very impressive debut,” he said.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him because his surname puts on enough pressure, but he was very impressive and Ashley and James were just as impressive.
“I took three fighters making their debuts to Murwillumbah for three wins – a great result for Moree,” he said.