Torres Warriors Lead The Way.

In what started as ‘a bit of a challenge’ in a charity fight night in 2016 has changed the lives of Townsville’s Thomas Utromu and Cairns’ Karim Yorkston, who fought in the main event at Knuckles Boxing Clubs tournament last night in Townsville.

In April 2016, Thomas weighed 135kg but decided to put his hand up for a charity fight. Karim was a whopping 200kg, having already lost 20kg, but also decided to try his luck in the ring.

This event completely changed the lives of both men, particularly Karim, who has gone on to lose another 80kg, continue boxing and is currently weighing in at a fit 120kg.

Karim has contributed his lifestyle change solely to boxing and now has a deep passion for the sport, which he shows every time he steps in the ring to represent the Thursday Island based club Zenadth Kes.

Yorkston marches forward into Utromu. Photo: Neil Olsen

“I honestly don’t know where I would be today without boxing.” Yorkston states.

“I thank God for introducing me to boxing and it has helped me with everything in my personal life.

I’d be lost without it.”

The proud Torres Strait Islander continued, “I want to show others that anything is possible in life when we dedicate ourselves and put our minds to it. It’s all up to us as individuals, this is for anything in life not just health and fitness.”

Thomas himself has made drastic changes, coming down from 135kg and is now weighing 117kg. Training at the Art of Strength Boxing club, Thomas has gone on to establish himself as a quality Super Heavyweight, racking up experience and competing at Golden Glove, State and National Titles.

“Karim was a lot fitter than I thought.” Said Utromu.

“I was expecting the first two rounds we would go a bit easy, but he came straight out hard and I had to go with him.” He continued.

“I was proud to be able to fight him and have two Torres Strait Islanders headlining a card in Townsville.

I thank Karim for stepping up and giving me a good test.” Pronounced Utromu, who has double the experience of Yorkston.

The pair battled it out in a hard fought, action packed 4 rounds in front of a packed crowd at the Ross Island Hotel.

In the end it was Utromu’s experience that came through and he got the nod by unanimous decision over the very game and tough Yorkston.


Rematch 13 Years In The Making

Almost 13 years after first trading blows in the ring, Mark Snook and Ryan Shibasaki will meet again when they go head to head at the Bohle Barn on June 11.

In 2003, a very raw Snook stepped into the ring for his first bout against Shibasaki. “He belted me pretty good, and I’ve wanted a rematch ever since.” Snook stated.

Mark Snook and Ryan Shibasaki face off ahead of their June 11 bout

Snook, now considered a veteran after sharing the ring with some quality names over the years, which include Paul Fleming, Fred Mundraby, Trent Wherman and Liam Paro, to name a few, is feeling confident.

“I was not prepared physically or mentally the first time, but now with experience I feel a level of confidence going into each fight.” Snook explained.

Shibasaki, also much improved in his own right knows it’s going to be a much different fight but is poised in his lead up.

“We were just kids when we first fought and are both much more experienced now.” Shibasaki stated.

“Snook has had a lot of fights, but I dare say this will be the fittest I’ve been going into a fight.

I’ve been training and dieting hard and I’m keen to test myself against a solid fighter.” He added.

This fight will be part of a full card featuring locals and fighters from all across North Queensland. Doors open at 5pm with bouts due to commence at 6pm. Tickets available at the door.

HJs Guide to Style

Stop with the SWAG, and get some STYLE.

All trends go in and out of fashion, that’s a guarantee, but class and style never will.

There is a saying, “Dressing well is a form of good manners,” so to help you brush up on your manners I’ve included a few helpful tips below.

Sizing is possibly the most crucial aspect of an outfit. Make sure you’re wearing the outfit and it’s not wearing you. A jacket and pants too big and you’ll like like you had to borrow dads wardrobe for a court date. Not good.
Also too tight is just as horrible.

Simplicity is the key to brilliance. Yes, this is a Bruce Lee quote, and yes I know he was not talking about fashion, but I like Bruce Lee, so fuck it.
Just keep it simple. You don’t need a lot going on to stand out. As they say, “Less is more.”

Shoes make or break an outfit. They can make a dressy outfit look casual, or a casual outfit look dressy, so wear accordingly.
I suggest buying yourself a killer pair of leather mids and rock those motherfuckers.

Being overdressed is better than being underdressed.
Would you rather receive weird looks for looking fucking awesome, or looks getting mistaken for homeless? Exactly.

Hair and beard is a huge element when it comes to style.
A fresh, slick cut and a few millimetres of stubble should do the trick.
If you’re one of those people still trying to rock a beard, make sure it’s clean and nicely trimmed.

A truly slick outfit should always be finished off and complimented with cologne. Also don’t forget to moisturise, you don’t want dry flakey looking skin ruining your look.

Well that’s about it. Go out and rock your outfits, and remember, Do well. Live well. And dress really well.

King Grinds Out Victory

Photo - Neale Winter

Photo – Neale Winter

Townsville Lightweight Josh King has retained his WBO Oriental title, as well as added the WBO Asia Pacific title to his cabinet, with a victory over Argentina’s Xavier Castillo at the Aitkenvale PCYC Saturday night.

The victory for King, now 18-3, 8KOs, didn’t come easy, with Castillo giving the Townsville boxer his toughest fight to date over the full 12 rounds.

Castillo may have been in unfamiliar territory, having his first fight outside of his home of Argentina, but his team had done their research and he used all the tricks in the book to take the fight to the local.

Boasting a large reach advantage Castillo did well to use it throughout the contest, keeping King at range with solid jabs.

King however was able to adapt and find success with rights and eventually score with some of his signature body shots.

After a tight and furious 12 rounds, with the local sporting a cut and both eyes swollen shut, the crowd, somewhat tense, waited in anticipation for the judge’s verdict.

Photo - Neale Winter

Photo – Neale Winter

The scorecards read 116-112, 114-114, 116-113, and much to the delight of the crowd it was in favour of King, handing the local a Majority decision victory.

With this hard earned victory it’s believed that the proud North Queensland product is now set to display his skills in an overseas bout, with news to be announced in the coming weeks.

Photo - Neale Winter

Photo – Neale Winter

The undercard saw a successful night for other local boxers, with Jordan Gee Hoy, Kolby Johnston, and Chris Khan all notching up victories.

Gee Hoy scored a unanimous points decision over Matt Te Paa in their 6 round Light Middleweight contest. Scorecards read 58-56, 60-54, 59-57.

Light Middleweight prospect Kolby Johnston improved his record to 4-0 ,3KOs with a 1st round TKO over Luke Akauola.

Debutant Chris Khan began his professional campaign with a 3rd round TKO over fellow local Travis Barton in the Super Middleweight division.

Khan Finally Set To Make Pro Debut

chris khanTownsville boxer Chris Khan has had some terrible luck across recent months, with several opponents on different cards falling through, denying the 23 year old the chance to step into the professional ranks.

He will however get his chance this Saturday when he takes on Travis Barton at the Aitkenvale PCYC as part of the undercard to Josh King’s WBO title fight.

A veteran of 80 amateur bouts, including numerous titles as a kid, Khan took a 2 year hiatus from the sport, but after starting a family made the decision earlier in the year to step into the paid profession.

Originally scheduled to fight Barton in May on the undercard of Mark Flanagan and Daniel Ammann’s Australian title fight, the bout was cancelled just days prior when Barton sustained an injury.

Khan was then pencilled in to fight again in June, but suffered more disheartening news when his opponent received a cut in sparring and was forced to withdraw, once again with notice too short for replacement opponents to be organised.

“It has been a frustrating and disappointing couple of months, but unfortunately this stuff happens in boxing.” Khan’s trainer Scooter Hooper said.

“I have been really pleased with how Chris has handled the news and he has kept himself in the gym and stayed hungry when he could have easily lost his motivation.”

The same fate almost struck Khan this time around, with original opponent Jonathon Taylor bowing out due to injury. Barton has however stepped in to replace him and set up a showdown some 4 months in the making.

“The cancellations while disappointing have almost been a blessing in disguise.” Hooper explained.

“Chris is physically and mentally better prepared now than he’s ever been and I couldn’t be happier with where he’s at. We are excited to finally get his debut out of the way.”

Doors open Saturday night at the Aitkenvale PCYC at 6.30pm with action kicking off at 7pm.

King Ready For Battle With South American

King v CastilloChampionship boxing returns to Townsville at the weekend, as local Josh King (17-3, 8KOs) looks to defend his WBO Oriental title and in the process pick up the Asia Pacific strap, when he faces Argentinean Xavier Castillo (11-3, 3KOs) at the Aitkenvale PCYC.

Last time King took to the ring at the Aitkenvale PCYC the roof was almost blown off the venue, as he produced a shutout victory over Japan’s Koichi Ito in an action packed, crowd pleasing battle back in June.

King and his team are expecting another fast paced fight with Castillo, who is looking to upset the local on his first venture fighting out of Argentina.

“Xavier is a good strong boxer, coming from a good stable out of Argentina,” King’s trainer and manager Joe Pennisi said.

“He is also a bit taller than Josh, but we have had the best preparation ever and covered all bases.”

King spent time in Brisbane in his lead up, getting the chance to spar with world rated Light Middleweight Dennis Hogan and former Olympian Todd Kidd.

It has however been work with the other Townsville fighters which Pennisi, also promoter of the event, describes has been unbelievable.

“It’s a nursery up here. The talent pool is so strong at the moment and we are lucky enough that we can work together as a community and help each other out, which is only going to see development.” Pennisi explains.

King weighs in at a ripped and ready 61.03kg

King weighs in at a ripped and ready 61.03kg

The undercard will see locals Jordan Gee Hoy, Kolby Johnston, Chris Khan and Travis Barton all in action.

Gee Hoy, coming off an impressive TKO victory in June, takes on Brisbane based New Zealander Matt Te Paa in a 6 round Light Middleweight bout.

Rising star Kolby Johnston takes on Luke Akauola, also contested over 6 rounds at Light Middleweight. While Chris Khan and Travis Barton do battle in a much anticipated Super Middleweight matchup.

Doors open at 6:30pm Saturday night with fights beginning at 7pm.

Police Need Better Training

I have discussed this topic with people recently, and now that I have been seeing a lot of headlines lately I’ve decided to share my opinion with everyone else.

We’ve heard the stories/seen the videos of Police gunning and taking people down with excessive force. Well I believe many of these situations could easily be avoided.

I find it ridiculous that Police aren’t trained in any form of hand to hand combat. There really should be a martial art based tactical training system they must be competent in. I also think officers should have to pass a fitness test every 6 months.

This training ensures they aren’t so reliant on pulling a taser or gun, but rather neutralise a situation using trained manoeuvres, plus a martial arts base can also be known to keep people calm in high pressure situations.

A story of a 15 year old girl being tasered in Townsville after attempting to strangle a police officer has made news this week. My main question is how can a grown man not fend off and take down a 15 year old female without the use of a taser? If he had any form of training this could have been avoided.

The disturbing video of a Californian officer beating a women on an LA freeway a few weeks ago also blew me away. There is no need for that type of force to an unarmed women under any circumstance. Once again if he had any understanding of proper restraints and holds this would not have to happen.

Shooting unarmed suspects is another scenario that could often be avoided if people were able to keep calm in situations and were confident in their own acquired skills.

If you’re wondering what the type of martial art should be, well I’m not entirely sure. I think a Krav Maga type system, focusing on a mix of Boxing, Judo, Wrestling and Jujitsu would be more than enough needed. Whatever it could be, I strongly believe some sort of training should be implemented, as it is only going to assist the officers and also the civilians they are payed to serve.