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Marquee Mayhem to pack a punch at Lenaghan Oval


Promoter Nathan Swadling promises this weekend’s boxing extravaganza at Belmont North, Marquee Mayhem, will certainly “pack a punch”.

The Boxcamp head coach, based at Gateshead, is set to deliver more than 20 bouts on an impressive fight card at Lenaghan Oval on Saturday 3 February, headlined by three professional showdowns.

Local stars Brent Walton, 28, and Ryley Jackson, 21, face off against John Ake (Fiji) and Joe Vatusaqata (Sydney Fight Gym) respectively in two of the four-round three-minute contests.

The third features Trent Daley (Beeks Boxing) locking horns with Peter Miria (Sydney Fight Gym).

Another highlight will see 20-year-old Ollie Zienius attempt to defend his NSW state featherweight title against Brent Mayol (G-Six).

Rounding out the Boxcamp stable in action at Marquee Mayhem are Alaeldin Mohamed, Steve Benson, Josh Doggett, Max Barkas, Levii Smith, John Quinn, Maddy Lockhart, John Hipwell and Miah Bascur.

Ollie Zienius is keen to defend his NSW featherweight title at Marquee Mayheam this weekend. Photo: Rod Thompson

“We’re looking forward to it taking place at Lenaghan Oval for the first time,” Swadling said.

“We’ll have a heap of amateur fights, followed by the pro bouts.

“It’s an extremely good card.

“We’ve got a real strong movement in the area [at the moment], so we’re bringing a lot of flights to Lake Macquarie.

“Boxcamp, itself, boasts about 40 registered boxers.

“On the average fight show, a coach might nominate four [people], we submit about 30 names, which is pretty ridiculous.

“But, we’ve got a really good system.

“The boxers train in the same structure that they fight in… there’s a lot of onus and responsibility on them to make sure they do all of the little things right themselves.

“It’s an extremely supportive group, they’re family.

“They love each other and they know what they must do.

“The one thing about this gym is that culture breeds success… it’s been the main focus since the day we started.”

Swadling said boxing fans would embrace the Marquee Mayhem concept, too.

“I know there’s been plenty [of fight nights] in Newcastle in the past, but not so much down here,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“However, people can expect an incredible night of entertainment.

“We’re planning to stage six events this year.

“But, the shows we run have a really good feel to them, they’re a bit different.

“We used to host them at venues, which is harder to do these days, so we’ve gone back to our roots.

“They take place in an outdoor theme, with a big marquee over the top, almost like the old boxing carnival tent days.

“It’s not just the brutality, it’s not just the pugilism.

“Yes, you might see spurts of blood but the name of the game is watching Mr or Mrs Entertainment.

“You hear the music, you witness the walkouts.

“And, the other thing is these guys are legitimate superstars when they’re in the ring.

“It’s a one-man grand final.

“However, you can also bring the kids because they’ll rub shoulders with the boxers or get photos with them.

“When you’ve got 600 to 800 fans, and they’re clapping and cheering for somebody’s performance, and that person hops out of the ring, where else can you get that opportunity to mingle with the athletes afterwards?

“Everywhere else you go, you’re kept miles away from where the sportsmen and women are.

“With our guys, they come out and spend an hour or so hanging back for photos or autographs.

“That’s what it’s all about.

“We’re keen to support the community as much as we can and it’s great to know the community is there for us, too.”

The boxers train in the same structure that they fight in… there’s a lot of onus and responsibility on them to make sure they do all of the little things right themselves.

Nathan Swadling

Swadling admitted he was expecting big things from Walton and Jackson.

“Two of our other boxers, Brandon ‘The Bull’ Grach and Amber Amelia, have both been picked up by No Limit Boxing, under the watchful eye of Glen Jennings (known for his work with Tim and Nikita Tszyu),” he said.

“I can see the same thing happening to Brent and Ryley, too.

“Brent’s been an incredible amateur albeit a short career.

“But, he achieved a lot in those 11 or 12 fights.

“Then we turned him pro.

“He’s coming off the back of a boy he beat, who’d had 13 or 14 fights, so he gave away a lot of experience.

“Then Brent got chosen to fight for No Limit and he received their $5,000 bonus, which they’ve only handed out twice in 10 years.

“That was a huge achievement, being labelled fight of the year.

“Now, he’s stepping up again, at 66.7kg (welterweight), against a guy who’s had 26 professional fights to his third.

“So, we are really racing him through the pros.

“Brent’s one of the guys who as an amateur, he was already living the professional life.

“He’s so dedicated.

“There’s no one fitter than him, he’s super conditioned, his diet is A1 and his training is too.

“At 28, in the weight division he’s in, now’s the time to step up.

“These guys dream big, we all dream big.

“So, we’re not just looking to have half a dozen or a dozen fights and see how we go.

“Brent wants to win the NSW title, then an Australian belt, and possibly go overseas.

“Ryley, on the other hand, is a little bit different.

“He had a lot more amateur fights, about 30.

“And, like Brent, he’s enjoyed a really good career as well.

“Although he’s only 21, he’s been around for a long time.

“But, it’s his time as well.

“He has achieved everything that he wants to, as an amateur.

“You can see it in their personalities and Ryley’s just ready for the pros.

“I believe he’s someone who is going to make a lot of noise.

“He is in the weight division below Brent, fighting as a super lightweight, which is 63.5kg.

“I’ll fight these boys as much as I can.

“However, it won’t be very long until they’re picked up, too, like Amber and Brandon.”

Gates open for Marquee Mayhem at 3pm, with the first encounter scheduled to start from 4pm.

Tickets are available at Lenaghan Oval.

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