28 March 2024

Weipa boxing duo impress during southern fights

| Lyndon Keane
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Father-and-son boxing duo Jack Barton and Scott Barton pose for a photo with Cape York Boxing Weipa’s Scott Wallace (centre) on the Sunshine Coast on 16 March. Photo: Supplied.

The trip south may not have yielded the results they necessarily wanted, but a Weipa father and son have landed some significant blows to increase the township’s profile in the boxing ring.

Scott and Jack Barton travelled to the Sunshine Coast at the weekend to compete in the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Amateur Masters, with the older Barton winning his bout by walkover after his opponent failed to turn up.

Undeterred and eager to show the crowd what he had to offer, Scott fought a new opponent almost 20 years his junior in an exhibition bout and performed admirably, despite having a much shorter reach.

READ ALSO Cape York Boxing Club founder thrilled with fight night’s success

With his bout over and his WBF Amateur Masters belt in the mail, all eyes turned to 16-year-old Jack, who impressed to “put on a great show” in his own exhibition fight, according to Cape York Boxing Weipa founder and trainer Scott Wallace.

Mr Wallace was ringside at the Caloundra RSL with both fighters and admitted the senior Barton winning by default had been a disappointment.

“It was l personally disappointed; we spent a lot of money to get down there and that, but it was a great night with great fights and great people,” he told Cape York Weekly on 17 March.

Cape York Boxing Weipa founder and trainer Scott Wallace says Masters boxer Scott Barton is an “inspiration to all of us” at the club. Photo: Supplied.

While it may have not gone exactly to script, Mr Wallace said the trip solidified Weipa and Cape York’s reputation for producing some fearsome boxing talent.

“We’ve got some good up-and-coming fighters,” he said.

“They’re just blown away; we’re just like a novelty for them and the commentators get on board with it.

“There’s up to 1,000 people in the crowd [and the commentators] just rev them right up, and everyone just loves Weipa.”

Mr Wallace praised the dedication of his Masters fighter and said he believed Barton was “looking good for a win” before his opponent’s no-show.

“I think he’s up around five or six fights now,” the trainer said of the eldest Barton.

“He’s 50 years old now, so he’s an inspiration to all of us to be still jumping in and having a box.”

The 16-year-old Barton is also holding his own in the ring, despite his sheer size creating a weight division headache.

“I think he’s about 78 kilograms at the moment, so we’re trying to keep him under 77kg or 78kg,” Mr Wallace explained.

“It would be good if we could get him fighting at 75 [kilograms]; he won the novice youth title at Golden Gloves in 2023, and he’s experienced Golden Gloves in the youth 75kg division.”

READ ALSO Weipa boxers shine in Tully bouts

Now in its sixth year, the Weipa club also boasts female star Sophia Michaelis in its ranks.

Michaelis is an Australian and Oceana Masters title holder in two classes, and Mr Wallace laughed when he described how popular the well-known local teacher was in boxing circles.

“She’s like a celebrity down there [when she travels to compete],” he said.

“She’s our superstar; they’ve got her on the front cover of boxing magazines and everything.”

The club’s next target is the second Sunstate Amateur Boxing League tournament of 2024, which will having boxers from across Queensland converging on Tully on 13 April.

“It works out good, because it’s the second week of the school holidays, so all the kids can get down,” Mr Wallace said.

“We’re going to the highest levels still based in Weipa, you know.

“You wouldn’t believe the doors that open when kids show a little bit of promise with boxing.”

Sixteen-year-old Weipa fighter Jack Barton is shaping up to a bright future in boxing. Photo: Supplied.

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