THE long-awaited return of former Commonwealth Youth Games hopeful Warwick Eccles will headline a boxing exhibition at Koroit this weekend.
Lyndo’s Boxing will stage its fifth Australia Day exhibition on Sunday, with a crowd of about 400 tipped to be ringside at the High Street gym.
Organiser Lyndon Edney said 20 fighters from Koroit, Coleraine, Warrnambool and Mount Gambier gyms would feature on the 10-fight card.
The bouts are three rounds of two minutes across a range of weight divisions, with the action getting under way at midday.
Kailyn Edney will take on Mahni Wright in the only all-female fight while Edney will put Laura Bell through her paces.
Other boxers to feature include Jyl Wright and Jason O’Grady, who won novice state titles in their weight divisions late last year.
But the return of Eccles, who trialled for Commonwealth Youth Games selection in 2010, is the headline act. He will fight Coleraine’s Hamish Thomas.
“He’s a big heavyweight boxer I had a few years ago and basically got up to national selection for the junior Commonwealth Games,” Edney told The Standard.
“He’s coming back to boxing after some time off, he had a hand injury and tried his hand at bodybuilding. But he’s keen to go again.”
Edney said he would give Bell a good workout in the ring. The emerging female boxer is planning to have her first bout in February.
“This will be a build-up for her,’’ he said.
‘‘She’s actually sparring me, I couldn’t find any girls willing to hop in with her.
“I’ll still push her, I’m definitely not jumping in and letting her beat me up.
‘‘I’m going to give her a challenge.”
Edney said the exhibition, run under the auspices of the Victorian Amateur Boxing Association, was alcohol-free and would be family-friendly.
“The professional side of things, people shy away from it a little bit, guys come out of it with huge gashes,” he said.
“Our boxers are fully protected, they’ve got head guards on.
“If anyone looks in trouble, they’ve copped a bit of a punch, we always call it up and give them the count, make sure they’re OK.”
Young prospects Jacob Sumner and Charlie Edney are also on the card and will display the skills they have been rapidly honing.