Fighter Fit Boxing Gym sends boxers to WA Masters Test event

FIGHTING FIT: Chad Boyle, Stephen Morrison, Danny Heyes, Bryce Savell, Karlee Hayes, Paul Andrews, Aaron Fury and Kelly Heyes. Photo: Supplied.
FIGHTING FIT: Chad Boyle, Stephen Morrison, Danny Heyes, Bryce Savell, Karlee Hayes, Paul Andrews, Aaron Fury and Kelly Heyes. Photo: Supplied.

The Boxing WA Masters Test event was held over the weekend of October 15-17 at the Perth Town Hall, and Mandurah's Fighter Fit Boxing Gym sent a team of eight boxers into the ring.

"Perth Town Hall used to be where they held boxing way back when. This event brought boxing back to the Town Hall for the first time in 50 years, making history," coach Kelly Heyes said.

It was a big day for Ms Heyes herself as she stepped into the ring for the first time in seven years since before having children for an exhibition fight.

Ms Heyes's husband Danny Heyes who is head coach at Fighter Fit said he was beyond proud of his wife's skills.

"She was absolutely fantastic - it was an exhibition fight and not a real fight, but she would've won if it was a fight," he said.

Mr Heyes said the competition saw a number of their boxers stepping in for either their first fight or their first fight after an absence.

"It was a really big weekend for us guys, a lot of people jumping in the ring for first fights and they all stood up to the challenge.

"One of our fighters Chad [Boyle] had his first fight in the ring and it was a big deal for him getting out of his comfort zone.

"Bryce [Savell] hadn't fought for two years, so this was his first fight since then."

Mr Heyes said all eight fighters had made the gym proud, and that a particular moment for each stood out to him.

"Instantly once they get out of the ring they realise 'I'm a fighter now' - it's an absolutely amazing feeling that you go through."

For Fighter Fit Gym to allow a fighter to step into the ring, Mr Heyes said they had to prove they were ready beyond a shadow of a doubt.

"We've got really high expectations of anyone who wants to be a fighter for our gym - they have to do their fitness and technique through us.

"We are very protective and we make sure we know everyone has done all the work and is safe to get in there.

"When our guys get in there they know we believe in them 100 per cent."

Mr Heyes added that boxing was a sport often labeled 'violent' but, in reality, it was about sportsmanship and community.

"There's no aggression in the fight, they always shake hands straight after - actually, I've never seen a fight where people don't embrace each other after.

"Even afterwards they'll find their opponent out the back and shake their hands and thank them for the fight."

Sportsmanship, according to Mr Heyes, is something Fighter Fit prided itself on, and the weekend's masters event proved exactly how important it was.

"We had eight fighters on but all of our gym members were at the venue," Ms Heyes said.

"Over a quarter of the crowd was from our gym - you heard other people's names called and there were a few claps, and then when it was our fighters there was a massive roar from people there to support them."

Ms Heyes said the weekend was an opportunity for her and her husband to step back and witness the community they had created.

"Our gym family is amazing," Ms Heyes said.

"We have made a massive community - the gym has been running for three and a half years and we can step back and say 'wow, we've actually done this - this is what we've made'."