SCOTT Wallace still can’t go to the shops without getting pulled up to receive a compliment.
It’s been just over a week since the first Weipa Fight Night was staged and Wallace was still beaming when we spoke to him on Monday morning.
“It was unreal and I can’t get in and out of the shops without half an hour of conversations with people who were there and loved it,” he said.
“It was all kinds of people as well – school teachers, government workers … everyone.”
Wallace said the most encouraging feedback he had received was about the professionalism of the night, which was administered by the Sunstate Amateur Boxing League.
“So many people have come up to me and said how impressed they were about the safety of the fights and the way the referee had control all night,” he said.
“I suppose a lot of people are new to boxing or have only seen some highlights on TV so don’t really know what it’s like.
“Amateur boxing is about technique and not about trying to kill your opponent.”
The founder and coach of the Cape York Boxing Club, which started on a concrete slab at the Weipa Cricket Ground but has now shifted to the old squash courts in Nanum, said he was thrilled with the performances of his local fighters.
“For some it was their first fight and it would have been nerve-wracking,” Wallace said.
“But I thought everyone from the club stuck together and supported one another all night.”
Wallace reserved special praise for Napranum youngsters Troy Hudson and Jet Savo, who stepped into the ring for the first time in front of many peers and family members.
“These two lads are amazing and they come in twice a week to train,” he said.
“They get great support from Emma at the Napranum PCYC and they are dedicated.
“You saw with Troy, who had two fights on the night, grow with confidence after his first.
“Once they realise it’s safe they go to a new level and we saw that with Troy and a few of the other boys.”
Former uniformed officer Emma Wallis, who is the acting manager for PCYC Napranum, said she was thrilled to see Jet and Troy get in the ring.
“They are dedicated and committed to travelling into Weipa every Monday and Wednesday for training,” she said.
“They’ve become good role models for the other kids at the PCYC and we now have others who want to start training.”
Meanwhile, Wallace said a group of seven fighters from the Cape York Boxing Club would head to Cairns this weekend for the Sunstate Amateur Boxing League’s golden gloves event.
The Barton boys, Scott and Jack, as well as the Reynolds duo of Jackson and Billy, will join Rueben Olsen, Jed Hall and Xander Wone at the event.
“I think they’ll do very well considering they are going to be properly matched up,” Wallace said.
“It’s been hard at some of the smaller fight nights to find the right opponents, but we think our boys will stack up in the right weight and age divisions and I’m looking forward to it.”