29 November 2022

Knockout event brings boxing to Batemans Bay this summer

| Zoe Cartwright
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Two women boxing

Stephanie Bond and Sophie Alves face off. Photo: Supplied.

Lovers of combat sports are in for a treat this summer, with Batemans Bay to hold its own fight night on 4 February 2023.

Organiser Skye Falzon hopes the event doesn’t just cater for those who already love boxing, but helps showcase the skill, athleticism and grit that are fundamental parts of the sport.

“It’s not brutal, it’s beautiful,” she said.

“Boxing teaches you discipline, brings people from across the community together to work on a goal, and gives you self-confidence.

“Most people think it’s just about blood, you need to be tough, it’s a bully sport – we’ve had people say they won’t sponsor the event because they don’t want their name associated with the sport.

“But thugs don’t usually make good boxers – you need to be relaxed, composed and able to manage your emotions under pressure.”

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There will be up to 20 fights on the night, featuring boxers from Wollongong, the South Coast and the ACT.

The event will also showcase the hard work of a number of locals who put their hands up to do a 13-week training camp with Skye and her partner and fellow boxer, Amir Mohamed.

After a tough few years for Batemans Bay, Skye said she hoped the camp would be a positive experience for everyone involved – an opportunity to connect with each other, work hard, sweat out some stress and showcase their efforts on the big night.

The team, and the card, includes people from all ages and backgrounds, men and women – something Skye said was a no-brainer in the modern world of combat sports.

“Anyone who doesn’t include women in an event these days is backwards,” she said.

“It’s so important to me to showcase what women can do and how skillful they are.

Taneka Longbottom will also be appearing on the fight card. Photo: Supplied.

“A lot of the women who are training with us have been told they’re crazy, it’s dangerous and they shouldn’t do it, which makes me want to back them even more.

“If women want to pursue a sport like boxing they should be supported, not told to get back in the kitchen and look pretty.”

She would know, after her dad, former professional boxer and event promoter Jess Falzon, taught her to box as a child. One day she came home and said she wanted to compete.

“He said, ‘No way’,” she laughed.

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“I told him he could help me or I’d do it without him, so he found me a good coach and got on board.

“I had my first bout at 24 and the love of the sport always brings me back.

“I love how hard you have to work, how much there is to learn, and the mental toughness you need to put yourself out there in front of everyone.”

The event sold out within two hours of tickets going live – but if you missed out this time, never fear.

Boxing camp group

The training camp squad with Boxing NSW head coach Nudge Meili at a development camp in Wollongong on the weekend. Photo: Supplied.

The Dark South Promotions team anticipate holding up to four events in Batemans Bay each year – two combined professional and amateur, and two amateur only.

In future they hope to showcase more styles of combat sports as well, depending on local interest.

For 4 February, however, Skye said the fights she was most excited to watch were Stephanie Bond vs Sophie Alves and Justin Westbury vs Aaron Russell.

“They’re very evenly matched and very competitive,” she said.

“Watching them learn together, you can tell they’re very serious about showing what they can do on the night.”

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