The inaugural City v Country Fight Night was a sell out event, with 900 spectators in attendance.
Hosted by Tamworth’s One2Boxing Westside, the fight night was an opportunity for the Tamworth community to experience the spirit of boxing, while also giving regional boxers a competition close to home.
“Our local boxers have been going around for many years now, travelling all around Australia to fight,” said Jamie Carroll, head coach at One2Boxing.
“So, this was a great opportunity for locals to throw their support behind our boxers and see what the sport is all about.”
On the drawcard of more than thirty fights were two local pro debuts and six title fights including the Australian Middle Weight Title and the headline WBC Australasian Welterweight Women’s Title.
“Nothing else but a knockout.”
He predicted nothing else but a knockout on his pro debut, and One2Boxing’s Lemuel Silisa delivered just that.
Entering the ring to a standing ovation, it was known from the get-go, Silisa would be boxing a tough bout against Port Macquarie’s Ashley Rosinhaskew.
Silisa knocked out opponent Rosinhaskew in the third round. (Credit: Danny Dalton, Tah Dah Sports Photography)
With his home country of the Solomon Islands watching on, the ref called a knockout in the third round, showing the crowd exactly why he is dubbed ‘The Destroyer’.
“I can’t express how I am feeling. I have dedicated myself full time to boxing and I made a promise I’d get the knockout for Tamworth, so it’s exciting that I’ve been able to stand by that promise and show my love for this town,” Silisa told 2TM.
“I give glory back to God, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for everything he’s done.”
Also making his pro debut from One2Boxing was Dale MacDonald.
Known as the Taxman, MacDonald had high hopes to collect his taxes in his debut fight, but due to a few slips in the first round, Armidale’s Robbie Porter took the win.
Before Saturday night, MacDonald had taken a 10-year hiatus from the ring and said he just had an itch that needed to be scratched.
“It’s every amateur boxer’s dream to step through the ropes as a professional, so when the opportunity came up for me, I just had to jump at it,” he said.
As a PCYC boxing coach by day, he was proud to show his kids in the crowd the true spirit of boxing.
“I wanted to represent what I’ve been putting out there [in class]. It’s one thing to be a coach, but it’s another to actually get in and play your part as a boxer as well,” he said.
“I’ve finally got that international ranking.”
Gunnedah can now claim international fame with local boxer Enja Ryan now titled the WBC Australasian Welterweight Women’s Champion.
Ryan knew her opponent Srisawas would be moving forward and coming from underneath, so her game plan was to keep her off. (Credit: Danny Dalton, Tah Dah Sports Photography)
31-year-old Ryan went strong on the attack against 20-year-old Thai boxer Noppaket Srisawas, which saw Srisawa knocked out in the fifth round.
“We knew she was a little bit shorter than me and would be moving forward and trying to come underneath me, so my game plan was to use my range and keep her off me,” Ryan told.
“During training we worked a lot on trying to stay in the pocket and within range and have lots of different sparring partners so we could catch that variety.”
Already a holder of the NSW Australasian and Australian belts, the Australasian Welterweight belt is the first international belt for Ryan, elevating her to an international ranking.
She told 2TM that her next big plan is to head overseas for a well-deserved holiday.
New England 86kg Touliki Mahe (Newcastle)
New England Junior Kobi Haworth (Musswellbrook)
New England Heavy Weight Jesse Taylor (Tamworth)
New England 63.5kg Lindsay Frizell (Armidale)
Australian Middle Weight Malachi Towns (Tamworth)
Australasian Welterweight Women’s Enja Ryan (Gunnedah)